Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ugandan Bee Population Threatened by Black Ants

Black Ants a Threat to Bee Population, Honey Industry
By Kikonyogo Ngatya, New Vision (Uganda), 5/20/2008

A common type of black ants has been singled out as the most devastating pest to bees in Uganda. The insects commonly called munyeera in Luganda, nginingini in Luo, attack beehives, suck out the honey and kill the bee pupae and eggs.

They are too small to be counter-attacked by beehive guards. They make the bees flee the hives…

Most honey producers prefer apis mellifera and asonii bees species. But six other species of sting less trigonid bees are widely kept.

There are also other exotic species being kept. However, these bees often die when their environment is degraded, they are invaded by toxic pasture species, or when Poor harvest technologies and agro-chemical are used.

During harvesting of honey, hives are crudely attacked at night and in the process many bees die as honey is extracted. Some studies by Makerere University say exotic plant species like lantana camara poison bees and kill them. Normally, the bees would instinctively avoid landing on the toxic plants in their hunt for nectar. However, during drought when other crops have withered, the toxic plants tend to be drought resistant, flower and subsequently attract bees…

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