Apiculture has developed into an important industry in India as honey and bee-wax have become common products. Besides, honey bees do great environmental service by pollinating flowers. Bee keeping proves worthwhile from a monetary point of view as honey and wax command rewarding profits. In an average colony, there may be between 20000 to 31000 bees consisting normally of a queen and a few hundred drone. 90% of the population is made up of the workers. Recently, a sharp decline in population of honey bees has been observed throughout the Indian subcontinent resulting in devastating loses. For example, Kerala province has seen around 60% plunges in its commercial bee populations. Although the bees are susceptible to diseases and attack by natural enemies like wasps, ants and wax moth, constant vigilance on the part of the bee keepers can overcome these adverse conditions. The present plunge in population was not due to these reasons, it was caused by man.
Key words: Honey bees, bee-wax, population,
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