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Pot-Honey pp 261-268 | Cite as

Taxonomy as a Tool for Conservation of African Stingless Bees and Their Honey

  • Connal EardleyEmail author
  • Peter Kwapong
Chapter

Abstract

Afrotropical stingless bee honey is a commodity in many African communities. However, its uses and composition have not been well documented in the scientific literature, and documentation in indigenous culture is scant. Understanding Afrotropical stingless bees and their contribution to humanity is hindered by incomplete understanding of their taxonomy. Taxonomic studies are hindered by the apparent morphological similarity between species, as some currently described species are in fact species groups, representing distinct taxa by traditional healers who have practical knowledge on the medicinal uses for their honey, naturalists who observe differences in nest architecture, and in molecular studies. A taxonomic revision combining morphology and modern tools, such as DNA barcodes, is needed before Afrotropical stingless bees can be fully studied.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Dr. Janine Kelly and Dr. Claus Rasmussen are thanked for critical reading of the manuscript. Editorial support was kindly provided by P. Vit, S.R.M. Pedro and D.W. Roubik.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Biological and Conservation SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Entomology & Wildlife—International Stingless Bee Centre, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Cape CoastCape CoastGhana

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