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About Apis karinjodian

Context:

Recently, a new species of endemic honeybee named Apis karinjodian has been discovered in the Western Ghats after a gap of more than 200 years.

  • The last honeybee described from India was Apis indica in 1798 by Fabricius.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

  • Common Name: Indian black honeybee.
  • Apis karinjodian has evolved from Apis cerana morphotypes that got acclimatised to the hot and humid environment of the Western Ghats.
  • Indian black honeybees are able to produce a thicker honey which allows for increased honey production.
  • Till date, only a single species, Apis cerana was noted across the plains of central and southern India and Sri Lanka as a ‘fairly uniform population’ in the Indian subcontinent.
  • The research has given a new direction to apiculture in the country by showing the presence of three species of cavity nesting honey bees, namely Apis indica, Apis cerana, and Apis karinjodian.
  • The distribution of Apis karinjodian ranges from the central Western Ghats and Nilgiris to the southern Western Ghats, covering the States of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu.
Protection:
  • IUCN Red List: Near Threatened (NT)

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