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Apidologie

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 285–295 | Cite as

Is there a need for conservation of honeybees in Africa?

  • Vincent Dietemann
  • Christian Walter Werner PirkEmail author
  • Robin Crewe
Review Article

Abstract

Honeybees are native to Africa and Europe but have been spread worldwide as the basis for an apicultural industry. To date, large and diverse wild populations only remain in Africa. On this continent the beekeeping industry is relatively undeveloped and relies on trapping swarms from wild populations to constitute the managed stocks. Bee breeding is seldom practiced. The situation is therefore different from that of Europe or North America where wild or feral honeybees have almost disappeared and this distinction is important when assessing the conservation status of African honeybees. While African honeybees appear to be more resistant to major diseases, the history of honeybee populations worldwide suggests that their conservation is a necessity. After analyzing the threats to which honeybees are exposed in Africa, we argue that preventive conservation measures are required to maintain the present favorable situation and avoid the declines in populations experienced elsewhere.

conservation honeybee Apis Africa diseases beekeeping 

Est-il nécessaire de prendre des mesures de conservation des abeilles en Afrique?

Apis protection Afrique maladie parasite apiculture 

Gibt es eine Notwendigkeit zu Erhaltungsmaßnahmen bei afrikanischen Honigbienen?

Zusammenfassung

Die Beziehung zwischen Menschen und Honigbienen hat in Afrika verschiedene Formen: In vielen Ländern wird Honigjagd praktiziert; In einigen Ländern ist die traditionelle Bienenhaltung in Körben oder Klotzbeuten weitverbreitet während andere moderne Bienenhaltungstechnologie einsetzen. Der hauptsächliche kontextuelle Unterschied zu anderen Weltregionen, in denen die Honigbienen entweder heimisch sind oder eingeführt wurden, ist die bedeutende Population von freilebenden Bienen, auf denen Honigjagd und Ausbeutung basieren. Im Gegensatz zu Europa machen bewirtschaftete Völker nur einen kleinen Teil der Honigbienenpopulation aus (14–18 aus 310 Mio). Weiterhin basiert die Bienenhaltung in Afrika weitgehend auf dem Fang von wilden Schwärmen und es wird keine oder nur wenig Bienenzucht betrieben. Diese Unterschiede sind wichtig, wenn die Honigbienenpopulationen von den in anderen Teilen der Welt zu beobachtenden Abnahmen geschützt werden sollen. Für Afrika sollten daher besondere politische Maßnahmen entwickelt werden. Auf diesem Kontinent sind die Netzwerke, auf die sich Bienenhalter und die Bienenindustrie stützen können nur sehr schwach entwickelt, und es wurden nur wenige Untersuchungen über die Honigbienen durchgeführt. Es ist daher sehr schwer, genaue Informationen und Zahlen über den Gesundheitszustand der Honigbienenpopulationen zu erhalten und daraus abzuleiten, ob Schutzmaßnahmen notwendig sind. Angesichts der Größe der Wildpopulation und dem Fehlen von Berichten über Epidemien könnte man schließen, dass die Wildpopulation in Afrika nicht gefährdet ist und daher von den Imkern ausgebeutet werden kann. Obwohl afrikanische Honigbienen den meisten Krankheiten ausgesetzt sind, die weltweit Honigbienen schädigen und sie diesen widerstehen können, sind der Verlust von Habitaten und Bejagung zwei Faktoren, denen europäische Bienen in geringerem Ausmaß ausgesetzt sind (da freilebende Honigbienen praktisch nicht mehr vorkommen und die bewirtschafteten Völker in vom Menschen hergestellten Beuten leben). Diese und andere noch nicht identifizierte Faktoren (z. B. neue Krankheiten) können Honigbienen negativ beeinflussen und ihre Wirkung könnte unter Umständen zu Verlusten in ähnlichem Ausmaß führen, wie sie andernorts beobachtet werden. Um zu verhindern, dass etwas Ähnliches in Afrika passieren kann, schlagen wir die Schaffung und Verbesserung sowie eine effektive Inkraftsetzung von Regulationen vor, die auf eine Erhaltung der afrikanischen Honigbienen abzielen. Da Afrika das Ursprungsland von Apis mellifera darstellt und das einzige Weltgebiet, in dem eine große Wildpopulation erhalten ist, sind Anstrengungen zur Erhaltung nicht nur zum Erhalt von einzigartigen Populationen vonnöten, sondern auch, um das Funktionieren des Ökosystems und der landwirtschaftlichen Produktion sicherzustellen, die beide von den Bestäubungsleistungen der Honigbienen abhängig sind.

Erhaltung Honigbienen Afrika Krankheiten Bienenhaltung 

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Copyright information

© Springer S+B Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Dietemann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian Walter Werner Pirk
    • 2
    Email author
  • Robin Crewe
    • 2
  1. 1.Swiss Bee Research CentreAgroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALPBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Social Insect Research Group, Department of Zoology and EntomologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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