Zewdu et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 6 (3), pp. 093-101, March 2016.
Manuscript Number: 012016019
Assessment of Alien Honeybee Species (Apis florea) in North West and Northern Ethiopia
Zewdu A1*, Desalegn B1, Amssalu B1, Gebreamlak B2,
1 Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Holeta Bee Research Center, P.O. Box 22, Holeta, Ethiopia.
2Tigray Agricultural Research Institute, Mekelle Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 1132, Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia.
The dwarf honeybee (or red dwarf honeybee), Apis florea Fabricius, is native to Southeast Asia. The general distribution of this species is confined to warm climates where it performs very well. The study was carried out to assess the invasion, habitat and its negative effect on local honeybees in North West and Northern Ethiopia. Districts for the study were purposively selected. To undertake the assessment, three different techniques, interviewing local people, observing foraging bees on the field and searching for nests of the alien species were employed. Based on the study results, Metema could be the possible district to which A. florea was first introduced in 2003. Since then, this alien bee species has become widely distributed in the lowlands of north Gondar, and central and northern Tigray up to the Eritrean border. Indicating the rapid expansion and effective colonizing ability, they become well adapted to new hot arid conditions of North West and North Ethiopia without being affected by the competition from local honeybees, Apis mellifera. This natural expansion of the species may not have a pronounced negative effect at this time but may pose some threat to the local ecosystem in the future. Therefore, the rapid expansion of the A. florea into new habitats has to be monitored and more detailed research is needed to understand their ecological impacts in the new ecosystem and potentially possible economic advantages and disadvantages.
Key words: A.florea, nesting habitat, invasion, Tigray, Amhara.
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