Honey Bees Are in Trouble Due to Human Activities

Photo Credit: PerfectBee

Mellifera, also known as African honeybee, Nose (Sepedi), Nyoxi (Xitsonga) and Notshi (Venda). 

The African honeybee subspecies (Apis mellifera scutellata) is indigenous to much of central and southern Africa. The African honeybee should not be confused to her sister species, the Cape honeybee (A. m. capensis) which is found in the Cape or winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape and some parts of the Eastern Cape. African honeybee are red/brown with black bands and orange yellow rings on abdomen, and are significantly smaller. The African honeybee occurs in natural veld areas of South Africa including Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and North West.

Honeybees play an essential role in people's lives. Honeybees provide pollination services to farmers of pollinator-dependent crops such as Mango, Avocado, Litchi, Macadamia, butternut, Melon and Blueberries, thus impact the supply of fruits in the markets. Honeybee farming or keeping may not only benefit people with from honey and pollination services, but also with protection of their crops. Livestock deaths caused by honeybee stings causes significant negative economic impact, but without any shadow of doubt, honeybees are largely a very important catalyzer of economic growth for communities. African honey bees can be a risk to humans. Children, the elderly, and handicapped individuals are at the highest risk of a deadly attack due to their inability or hampered ability to escape an attack.

Research shows that the African honeybee species is not under threat as yet, but they are experiencing threats, such from extreme events associated with climate change, such as high frequency of fires and droughts, diminishing forage and habitat resources, misuse of pesticides and insecticides in the environment. The Centre for Ecological and Sustainability Advisory, with its team of ecologists, can advice on a number of sustainable management practices in order to keep African honeybees alive despite the challenges the species face. Should you encounter an issue with the African honeybee in the said provinces, please contact the Centre for Ecological and Sustainability Advisory Support Office: Telephone: +2760 935 2753, Email: info@centreforecology.co.za