A synopsis of the Bee occurrence data of northern Tanzania

Biodivers Data J. 2021 Aug 17;9:e68190. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.9.e68190. eCollection 2021.


Background: Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila) are the most important group of pollinators with about 20,507 known species worldwide. Despite the critical role of bees in providing pollination services, studies aiming at understanding which species are present across disturbance gradients are scarce. Limited taxononomic information for the existing and unidentified bee species in Tanzania make their conservation haphazard. Here, we present a dataset of bee species records obtained from a survey in nothern Tanzania i.e. Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions. Our findings serve as baseline data necessary for understanding the diversity and distribution of bees in the northern parts of the country, which is a critical step in devising robust conservation and monitoring strategies for their populations.

New information: In this paper, we present information on 45 bee species belonging to 20 genera and four families sampled using a combination of sweep-netting and pan trap methods. Most species (27, ~ 60%) belong to the family Halictidae followed by 16 species (35.5%) from the family Apidae. Megachilidae and Andrenidae were the least represented, each with only one species (2.2%). Additional species of Apidae and Megachilidae sampled during this survey are not yet published on Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), once they will be available on GBIF, they will be published in a subsequent paper. From a total of 953 occurrences, highest numbers were recorded in Kilimanjaro Region (n = 511), followed by Arusha (n = 410) and Manyara (n = 32), but this pattern reflects the sampling efforts of the research project rather than real bias in the distributions of bee species in northern Tanzania.

Keywords: Tanzania; agriculture; bee pollinator; distribution; disturbance gradient; grazing; species diversity.