A survey of indigenous knowledge of stingless bees (Apidae: meliponini) in the central region of Ghana

  • AS Karikari
  • PK Kwapong

Abstract

The indigenous knowledge on stingless bees was assessed using questionnaires and semi-directive methods from five farming communities around the Kakum National Park in the Central Region of
Ghana. Stingless bees are very good pollinators of both wild and cultivated crops and also produce honey and propolis that are medicinal. Even though these bees are of African origin, unlike South
and Central America as well as Australia where the bees have been studied extensively for pollination services and hive products, studies on these bees are almost non existent in Africa. Strangely
however, the local people showed great wealth of knowledge about the different species of stingless bees, their nesting behaviour, their forage resources and the uses of their honey especially as medicine.
They are aware that the bees collect nectar and pollen and also know that the presence of the bees on their crops improve the quality and quantity of their crop yields. They however do not know
the role of stingless bees in the pollination of their crops. Even though the indigenous people recognize stingless bee honey as highly medicinal, no attempt has been made to manage the bees for their
benefits. Harvesting of honey has been mainly destructive and this research is opening up an opportunity for meliponiculture in Ghana
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eISSN: 0855-3823