Nectar Landscapes Project

The honeybee has been introduced to ecosystems on every continent except Antarctica for pollination and honey production. It is well known that honeybees have the potential to compete with native wild pollinators for food. Within the Western Cape, beekeepers are often prevented from placing hives within National Parks due to concern over competition with wild pollinators, however the carrying capacity of Fynbos habitats for beekeeping remains largely unknown. Given the economic and ecological value of both managed honeybees and wild pollinators, there is an urgent need to better understand the interactions between honeybees and the other pollinators to minimise any adverse impacts on local biodiversity. To this end, researchers from the University of Bristol are using landscape nectar supply and insect biomass data to determine the carrying capacity of Fynbos types on Grootbos for apiculture.

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