11 September, 2014
National Honeybee Foraging Week
22-29 September, 2014
Celebrate Heritage Day 2014 by planting honeybee-friendly plants
the health and survival of honeybees across South Africa is the key to
the inaugural launch of National Honeybee Foraging Week (22-29
September, 2014) this year.
by the South African Bee Industry Organisation (SABIO), South African
Green Industries Council (SAGIC), South African Nursery Association
(SANA), Garden Centre Association (GCA) and as well as honeybee
scientists and concerned communities across the country, the new
celebration aims to showcase how every South African can play their part
in ensuring the continued survival of a healthy honeybee population.
this spring by planting a variety of flowering plants in your garden to
provide food for honeybees. Choose plants that flower at different
times throughout the year to provide honeybees with a continuous supply
of pollen and nectar.
of honeybee colonies are used every year to pollinate important crops
across South Africa. Our deciduous fruit industry, for example, relies
on bees to pollinate blossom every spring. After the blossom season is
over, honeybees move into gardens, onto farms and along roadsides in
search of pollen (protein) and nectar (carbohydrates) from flowering
availability and accessibility are major constraints for beekeepers in
South Africa. "A lack of good quality and variety of forage can lead to
unhealthy honeybee colonies that are more susceptible to disturbances
like pests and diseases. Weakened honeybee colonies are less effective
in pollinating our crops", says Mike Allsopp of the Agricultural
Research Council's Honeybee Research Section.
African beekeepers need access to a variety of flowering plants to
provide forage or food for their colonies at different times of the
year. A recent study undertaken by the South African National
Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) reveals that eucalyptus trees, certain
crop species like sunflower or canola, indigenous trees and shrubs,
flowering plants in suburban gardens and even roadside wildflowers are
critically important in order for honeybees to build strong and healthy
latest National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA)
Invasive Species Regulations which come into effect on 1 October, 2014
acknowledge the importance of gum trees (Eucalyptus species) to
honeybee foraging. In particular, the regulations make provisions for
landowners wishing to demarcate their gum trees as ‘bee-foraging zones'.
that provide a high value to bees, such as canola, citrus, sunflowers
and lucerne, play a significant role in the healthiness of South
Africa's honeybee colonies. We also need to promote bee-friendly garden
and agricultural practices, particularly in relation to agro-chemicals,"
says Mike Miles, Chairman of SABIO.
the winter rainfall region, indigenous fynbos species, including
ericas, proteas, buchus and mesembs, are a vital forage source for
honeybees. In the summer rainfall region, species of aloe and
indigenous thorn trees such as the sweet thorn (Vachellia karoo) and buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mucronata) make excellent forage plants.
should ‘think bee-friendly' when seeking out new plants for the garden;
and farmers must use honeybee-friendly plants when restoring dam walls,
crop borders or road verges.
Honeybee Foraging Week is an excellent time to start to encourage local
communities, groups, schools and organisations to think ‘bee-friendly'
when planting this spring.
greening programmes, road verges, school gardens and city parks all
play a vital role in increasing the amount of forage available for South
Africa's honeybees. Now is the time to make decisions with honeybees in
see the accompanying Factsheets about South Africa's honeybees,
pollination, and the various types of forage that beekeepers use.
Download the following documents:
For lists of honeybee foraging plants, go to www.sanbi.org/pollination-honeybees.
See ‘what we have achieved'
For more information, contact: