Book notice: Indigenous Honeybees of the Himalayas

Nepal's native honeybees are an acknowledged vital cog in maintaining the region's biodiversity, as they naturally pollinate an assortment of local plants. Their traditional contributions of honey and wax have for long enriched the livelihoods of secluded mountain communities. This tome details the research and results of an Austrian government-supported ICIMOD project to study the indigenous bees of the Himalaya

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- Indigenous Honeybees of the Himalayas (Vol 1) Farooq Ahmad, Surendra Raj Joshi and Min Bahadur Gurung Published by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (icimod), Nepal 2003 52 pages.

Nepal's native honeybees are an acknowledged vital cog in maintaining the region's biodiversity, as they naturally pollinate an assortment of local plants. Their traditional contributions of honey and wax have for long enriched the livelihoods of secluded mountain communities. This tome details the research and results of an Austrian government-supported icimod project to study the indigenous bees of the Himalaya.

The book focuses on the Himalayan cliff bee (Apis laboriosa) and the honey hunting Kaski community. With the help of the community, the project mapped out the bee's environment studying the physical aspects of its colonies, migration and predatory patterns. The project reveals a decline in the numbers of the bee's colonies. A number of reasons are attributed to the fall in numbers including land degradation, soil erosion and even the flawed construction of a tourist trail. The book lists a number of recommendations to arrest this declining trend, including the banning of modern climbing gear for honey hunting.

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