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Stingless Bee - Research and Ecotourism

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The International Stingless Bee Centre operates in cooperation with the University of Cape Coast, and is a research, training and tourist center on stingless bees (Melaponini). It is a tourist attraction adjacent to the entrance of Kakum National Park.

Project Details

Near the entrance of the Kakum National Park is the International Stingless Bee Centre, a research, education and visitor center about stingless bees (Melaponini).

Within the immediate vicinity of the rain forest, the Center keeps four species of Meliponini and educates local bee keepers, tourists, school groups and others interested about the specifics, lifestyle and the use of stingless bees by man.
Students of biology, social geography, (eco)–Tourism, regional development, marketing and (amateur) beekeepers can participate in the research, training of local beekeepers and making the center more attractive for tourists.
The stingless bees do not live together with other bee species; Stingless bees are at the same time the largest and the smallest among the 370 species of bees existing. Stingless bees are only found in tropical and subtropical regions. The species raised in the Stingless Bee Centre are Dactylurina, Meliponula buchandii, Hypotrigona and Meliponula ferriginia.
The bees provide three products: honey, pollen and propolis. The honey of stingless bees is considered to be of higher nutritional value than the honey of bees with stings, as in the absence of a sting, these bees developed more powerful jaws and can therefore metabolise a higher amount of herbal material. This claim however, is not scientifically proven. Propolis is resin with which bee hives are sealed. It has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. The center trains the rural population in the Kakum area environmentally friendly means to earn an income by raising stingless bees, and in the production and sales of the products.
Interns and volunteers from relevant disciplines can support bee research by studying the behavior of stingless bees and their importance to the people and nature; offer courses and pedagogical approaches for education work in the communities and amongst bee keepers. The center emphasizes intensive exchange of knowledge and is open to new ideas.
The center was founded in 2005, by entomologist Prof. Peter Kwapong, who teaches at the Department of Entomology and Wildlife in the University of Cape Coast. It is possible for students of biology to do research and thesis with him (See "Academix- Theses abroad”. For his research at the International Stingless Bee Centre, Pro. Kwaping was awarded the British Council Award for the Most Effective Ambassador of UK Education and the Cape Coast Award for Innovation and Creativity.
The center showcases several natural and man-made beehives for the benefit of visitors. In addition, there is a forest tour, where they are shown the native plants whose continued existence depends on bee pollination. In a small shop, the products of bees, as well as literature about them are sold.
A focal point for students of tourism development or marketing/business, would be to increase awareness of the center among tourists and locals, improve visitor experience and promote the sale of bee products.
Info Box
Location: Kakum, Ghana
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Week
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Host family in Kakum
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Biologist, Professor of Entomology
Minimum Qualification Of Intern: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant technical knowledge
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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