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Are our bees going up in smoke?
March 1, 2018 @ 17:30 - 20:00
Fire is an integral part of fynbos ecology. The Cape honeybee is an integral part of fynbos ecology and biodiversity. Bees being social insects, find a nesting site, build comb, fly out in search of forage and grow their colony. But what happens in the face of fire? Does our Cape honeybee have the intelligence to survive these fast, hot fynbos burns?
Join us for a presentation on wild bee research done by Ujubee who are based in Simon’s Town in the heart of pristine, fynbos ecology. Venture with them into their groundbreaking observations at Cape Point Nature Reserve, looking at the recent fires and the impact these have on the Cape honeybee.
This event is a fundraiser to help raise funds to get Ujubee to The Netherlands where they have been invited to participate and present, at the first Wild Bee Conference in Amsterdam, hosted by the Natural Beekeeping Trust UK, from 31 August – 2 September 2018.
An urgent need for further research
There are 6 floral kingdoms on earth. The Cape fynbos is the smallest, but the richest floral kingdom in the world. This floral kingdom is kept alive by its pollinators. Apis mellifera capensis (Cape honeybee) pollinates more than 85% of the fynbos flowers. Without these bees we would lose this floral kingdom. Bees keep it together. They ensure the bio-diversity of the world around us. We have to understand how these bees have adapted to this amazing floral kingdom and what we can do to keep them safe. Bees worldwide are dying at the moment and if A. m. capensis were to die we would lose this race of bee that has evolved over time to survive in this harsh bee environment. Researching them is of great value to ensuring the longevity of our natural world.
We spend many hours with wild bees watching everything they do. We hope to really learn their way of life by observing them as closely as possible in their natural world. Our main aim is to see first hand how important these bees are to the Table Mountain National Park Cape of Good Hope Section, look for patterns and hopefully they will reveal some interesting secrets to us.
Our research project has been mostly self-funded for the past three years and as we move into our fourth year of research we would love support from all who love bees and feel that wild bees have the right to live in wild spaces, in their natural habitats and without the interference from people wanting to “commodotise” them for some personal or commercial gain. We hope to establish further sanctuaries protecting wild bees (honeybees, solitary and sub-social bees) in their unique biomes throughout South Africa and thus safe-guarding their diversity and gene-pool for the future.