June Timeline: Celebration of the Pollinator week

14 Jun

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This month, from the 17 to 23rd, the world will celebrate pollinator week. To  mark the event, our post of the month will be focused on the different insect pollinators that we find in the region, actually more specifically the ones that I was able to photograph.

 

 

Of course, we are working with Apis Cerena, the Indian honey bee, I think everyone knows how our little friend looks by now.

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Apis cerana

I was able to capture a couple other honey bee species which are not domesticable.

Apis Dorsata, or Rock bees (as they’re popularly called) are usually double the size of their European counterpart. In India, Honey harvesting from A. Dorsata is a tradition. The honey hunters are renowned for their bravery and skill. A nest can contain 60 kilogram of honey! JACKPOT!

A.dorsata6

Apis dorsata nest

Apis florea, on the other hand is 2 times smaller than their European brethren. Their nest is not bigger than 20 cm and a colony produce an average of 200 gram of honey yearly.  I found it quite strange to see the 2 distinctly different species side by side, but hey, this is India for you.

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Honey bees are the best known pollinators but there are others as well. Some of the most beautiful and graceful are butterflies. They are not as efficient as bees, because butterflies are perching feeders, they do not come as close to the flower therefor to the pollen. Still, they do their part in pollination and who doesn’t like watching them, they are so colorful and elegant!

Papilio polytes

Common Mormon- Papilio polytes

Euthalia aconthea

Simple Baron- Euthalia aconthea

There are also more discrete pollinators, that you may not even noticed or just mistake with a honey bee: the solitary bee. They are not social insect, which mean they have no queens and all female are fertile. Also they do not produce honey or wax. Around the world 90% of the bee species are solitary. Solitary bees are important pollinators and have advanced pollen collecting structures on their bodies with which to collect the pollen.

Bee hotel

Bee hotel

In Araku we want to create a bee sanctuary or should I say a pollinator sanctuary. Our main focus is Apis Cerana, but we do not for a moment forget to consider the various other pollinators. This month we have started creating bee-hotel for solitary bees to nest in. We used bamboo sticks of different size for the first one, but for the next one, we’ll try to vary the material to offer more habitat options to these guys. Can’t wait to go back there to see the first customers!

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One Response to “June Timeline: Celebration of the Pollinator week”

  1. test April 27, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    I love reading through an article that will make people think.

    Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

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