Agriculture is defined as the cultivation of the land to produce crops and the rearing of animals for man’s use. Agriculture has many branches. The form of agriculture practiced in an area depends on the size of the farm, purpose, availability of land, the type of soil in the area, topography of the land and the prevailing climatic condition.
Table of Contents
A crop is a plant grown for a specific purpose. Farming is the centre of activity where land is cultivated for the production of either plants or animals or both. Crop farming therefore involves the cultivation of land for the production of useful crops for the benefit of man. When different types of crops are planted on the same piece of land, it is called Mixed Cropping. Crops that may be planted are maize, cowpea,yam, cocoa yam, groundnut, soya bean,tomato, pepper, okra, sorghum and some perennial crops.
This is the study of how to grow fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants. It is a special branch of crop science which is not well developed in Nigeria. Those who specialize in the production of fruits, vegetables and flowers are called horticulturists. Fruits and Vegetable grown by horticulturists include citrus, pawpaw, mango, guava, cashew, pineapple, plantain, garden egg, tomato,lettuce, cabbage, pumpkin, cucumber, cashew, banana. Ornamental plants grown are hibiscus, croton, rose flowers, zinnia, hyacinth, iris, lily, Queen of the night. Ornamental crops are used for beautifying our surroundings.
This is the system of keeping or rearing different farm animals for different purposes. Animals commonly kept include cattle, poultry, sheep, goats, pigs. Livestock farming may be settled (ranching) or unsettled (normadic herding).
Apiculture or Bee farming is the process of deliberately keeping or culturing bees in wooden boxes or hives for different reasons.
Types of Bees
1.Solitary Bees – Most bees in the world are solitary. Mated female live alone in a hole or burrow into well drained soil or soft brick mortar. They have a short life span.Adults live for about 6 to 8 weeks. They do not sting because they do not store honey. Solitary bees are used for pollinating flowers.
2.Bumble Bees – These bees live together in colonies and store honey and pollen in wax as food to be used in time of food shortage. There are two types; Bombus bumble bees and Cuckoo bumble bees. Bombus have three social class, a female queen, partially developed female workers and male drones. A colony can contain 1 queen, 300 workers and few drones. Cuckoo have the males and females living separately except during the period of mating.
They have no workers.3.Honey Bees – They live as a large colony in a large cavity or man made hives. They have three castes, 1 queen, 70,000 wokers and300 male drones. At the centre, the queen bee lays eggs which developinto workers. The drone eggs are laid later. A typical honey bee hive may contain1 queen250 t0 300 drones20,000 female forages40,000 female house bees5000 to 7000 eggs7000 to 11000 larvae being fed16,000 to 24,000 larvae developing into Eggs
Importance of Bee Farming
1.Bees are pollinators of crops and this is important for genetic stability
2.Bees are kept for honey, bee wax, pollen and propolis which are used for food, medicine or manufacturing other products
3.The social life of honey bee colony provides a strong basis for the study of the structure of societies
4.Bees are used for research and education.