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About Apis karinjodian


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.


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.
  • IUCN Red List: Near Threatened (NT)

December 2023