UJUBEE

We need to look after bees

The Cape honeybee aka Apis mellifera capensis 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.

 

Bees are dying worldwide

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.

 

Creating bee sanctuaries 

UJUBEE spend many hours with wild bees in their natural world watching everything they do with the main aim of determining their importance to the Table Mountain National Park Cape of Good Hope Section. UJUBEE believes 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. They also 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.

 

More Insight into UJUBEE Research and Activity

In South Africa, most bee colonies are wild and still live in the wild. Much of our research focus to date has been about the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, which resides in but 6% of the total area of South Africa. We have been observing the Cape honeybee in pristine fynbos in the Cape Point Nature Reserve, looking at numerous patterns, from nesting sites chosen; the impact of fire which is an integral part of the ecology of the fynbos vegetation; the flowers bees are choosing for either pollen or nectar or both; the direction of their nest entrances; the influence of weather, particularly of wind, with Cape Point being one of the windiest regions on the continent of Africa; the influence of the geography of the region; who are the predators; the relationship between solitary bees and honeybees; and the bees’ use of essential oils and propolis in maintaining a healthy nesting environment, amongst many other factors. In terms of the solitary and semi-social bees, we are identifying the species present, looking at their life-cycles and their relationship to one another and other pollinators.

 

More recently we have been doing something similar in Noordhoek, a small semi-rural town, with natural vegetation, flower gardens and trees (both indigenous and exotic). Noordhoek is situated at the foot of Chapman’s Peak and is surrounded by Table Mountain National Park on the one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, but also on the Cape Peninsula. The big difference between the two sites lies in the topography of the regions, with the Cape honeybee in Noordhoek choosing nesting sites mostly in the hollows of trees, compared to cavities under rock and in rock crevices in Cape Point Nature Reserve. In Noordhoek our research project focuses on the abundance of nests, their geographic distribution, what trees the honeybees are choosing, their nesting environment and the microfauna inside the hollow trees, particularly whether the Pseudoscorpions are as abundant in tree cavities as they are in rock cavities and whether the presence of Pseudoscorpions is totally reliant on honeybees for their existence.
The objectives of the project are to ascertain the carrying capacity of these environments, find out what stresses bees in each and what is healthy for bees, how often do these colonies breed, the relationship of bees to the world around them and various other questions raised during the course of research.
If you would like to know more about the project, please email us: ujubeeconservation@gmail.com.

Gondwana Alive believes UJUBEE is well placed to establish further sanctuaries protecting wild bees in their unique biomes throughout South Africa, thus safe-guarding their diversity and gene-pool for the future.

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Why Gondwana Alive supports UJUBEE

GA believes UJUBEE is well placed to establish further sanctuaries protecting wild bees in their unique biomes throughout South Africa, thus safe-guarding their diversity and gene-pool for the future.

 

How does GA support UJUBEE ?

GA supports UJUBEE through support with promotion and fundraising.

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