At the foot of the monumental apiary of Inzerki, in the south-west of Morocco, silence has replaced the buzzing of bees. This silence is synonymous with an ecological disaster precipitated by the disappearance of the colonies.
This phenomenon, observed on a national scale, is caused by an extraordinary drought and climate change, according to experts.
“At this time of year, space is supposed to be filled with the buzz of bees. Today, they are dying at a dizzying rate,” lamented beekeeper Brahim Chatoui to Agence France-Presse, while inspecting his swarms.
Considered “the oldest and largest traditional collective apiary in the world”, according to specialists, this site dating from 1850 is not the only one hit by the mortality of Hymenoptera.
A phenomenon that is spreading
Other Moroccan regions are affected. “The losses are considerable in the Beni Mellal-Khénifra region alone, they are estimated at 100,000 hives since August,” said Mohamed Choudani, from the Union of Moroccan Beekeepers (UAM).
The country had 910,000 hives operated by 36,000 beekeepers recorded in 2019 against just under 570,000 in 2009, according to official statistics.