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Introducing Managed Honey Bee Hives Into Natural Fynbos Of South Africa: Effects On Pollinators And Their Dependant Plants

posted on 2023-10-11, 17:48 authored by Robyn MortonRobyn Morton, Sjirk GeertsSjirk Geerts

 Ethics number is: 214310272/08/2020 

In the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa, an indigenous honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera capensis (Cape honey bee) is used for agricultural pollination services. Agricultural crops are used as forage for bees in spring, eucalyptus trees in summer, and natural vegetation is required throughout the winter months. However, honey bees’ presence in natural areas in high densities could lead to negative impacts on unmanaged pollinators and their dependent plants. These data sets were collected to determine the effect of introducing managed honey bee hives (MHBH) on pollination networks, flower visitation rates, community composition of pollinators, insect diversity and abundance, and plant reproduction (Cullumia reticulata). To examine these effects, two different study sites were sampled under different conditions namely Lourensford and Fruitways. Lourensford investigates these effects with the controlled introduction of 10 MHBH during winter while for the Fruitways data set these effects are investigated through the uncontrolled dumping of  MHBH, data was collected under three different treatments where 66, 400 and 200 MHBH were introduced during summer. For both data sets, data were collected through pollinator flower visit observations and pan traps from four plots within 1 km of MHBH. For Lourensford, data was collected for 10 days with no MHBH present (before hives) and then for 10 days after MHBH were introduced (during hives). For Fruitways data was collected for 3 days under each treatment.


Joan Wrench Kirstenbosch Scholarship Fund (SANBI)


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