Wild bee pollinators have been shown highly effective in terms of improving agricultural yield quality and quantity of cash crops. In many parts of the world, pollination services are threatened by land use changes involving degradation of semi-natural habitats. Such disturbances often lead to decreased pollinator abundances or diversity, and increase risks to humans through reduced agricultural yields.
This project, first of its kind in West-Africa, aims to monitor bee communities and their ecosystem service provision through e.g. the pollination of cash crops. The project will build on reference collections of West-African bee pollinators from 2015 in the south-sudanian savannas of Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. Until now, this collection comprises 124 bee species and more than 40,000 specimens. The current project will expand the data collection in diverse habitat types, such as the transition zone of savanna and rain forest in Lamto, Ivory Coast.
The collection efforts of the project constitutes a solid scientific basis for further studies on pollination and will allow the integration of pollinator data into new management strategies of natural habitats and agricultural areas in West-Africa. Furthermore, the collection will serve as a valuable tool for environmental education and student training.