The Cape Floral Kingdom and its symbiotic relationship with local honeybees.
Updated: May 11
Bees play a crucial role in our ecosystem. The Cape Floral Kingdom, and particularly indigenous fynbos, rely on these creatures for long-term survival. This month is World Bee Day. The purpose of the international day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.
What is the Cape Floral Kingdom?
Although the Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest on earth, it’s the most diverse and most under threat. It is home to 3% of the world’s plant species and makes up one of only six flora kingdoms on earth. This region was declared by the Unesco World Heritage Committee as being ‘one of the richest areas for plants in the world’ and described it as having ‘outstanding universal significance to humanity’.
Fynbos – which is indigenous to the Western and Eastern Cape regions – makes up 20% of Africa’s plant life. It’s incredibly diverse, containing around 9 600 different varieties, 70% of which are endemic. ABSTINENCE sources its hero botanicals like rose geranium, buchu and honeybush from the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Sadly, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 1 700 of these species are heading towards extinction. This is due to several factors. These range from urban encroachment to climate change to pesticides and the invasion of alien vegetation. Another reason for this is the ailing Cape honeybee population, which is responsible for the pollination of 85% of fynbos.
The power of pollination
For us at ABSTINENCE, this issue is a personal crusade. Our non-alcoholic drinks celebrate the fynbos kingdom and showcase the hero botanicals derived from it.
But it is also an environmental one. Declining bee numbers are having a negative impact on plant life the world over. The reasons for this are mainly the exposure to exotic diseases and pests. Without these buzzing critters, many plant species – essential food crops included – wouldn’t be pollinated. Over time, they could even become extinct. This is because many plant species have evolved to react and drop pollen in their presence.
The plight of the bees doesn’t just affect the natural kingdom itself, but humans, too. We rely on plant life to provide us with the food and the oxygen we need to survive. In other words, our lives and the wellbeing and balance of the natural world hinges on the healthy, safety and numbers of these black and yellow bugs.
It is for these reasons that we are so committed to the conservation of this species, and the Cape Floral Kingdom that many of them call home.
Bees and Trees Policy
At ABSTINENCE, we care about the Cape honeybee and know the importance of protecting this home-grown insect. This is why we started our Bees & Trees initiative. We are also proud patrons of Ujubee – a local project on a mission to educate the public about the important role that bees play not just in the fynbos biome, but the natural ecosystem at large.
Because we love and have enormous respect for the Cape Floral Kingdom and its buzzing inhabitants, we’re donating 1% of all of our sales to support this initiative and fund necessary research. In this way, we hope to spread much-needed awareness around this delicate, local ecosystem and the life-sustaining creatures who inhabit them.
Want to play your part in protecting the Cape Floral Kingdom and the Cape honeybees? Shop our range of non-alcoholic spirits, or visit ujubee.com to see how you can assist in their conservation efforts. Because, as the great David Attenborough said: ‘The natural world is the most precious thing we have. And we need to defend it.’