Honey

honey-hunting

Nepal is a country with highly diverse agro ecological zones, ranging from terai plains to mid hills and high mountains that provide suitable habitat for diverse pollinator species including wild honey bees. Wild honey bees are species that nest in the wild. Wild honey bees of Nepal honey-5represent some of the earth’s last remaining honey bee populations that have not been affected by exotic diseases and predators . Unlike the European honey bee used for domestic honey production, these honey bees are able to tolerate seasonal low temperatures. Despite the lower production in comparison to commercial European honey bee species, large quantity of honey and beeswax (about 70% in Nepal) are produced from indigenous honey bees (mainly Apis dorsata and Apis laboriosa)

Honey is one of the products which has a direct impact on the economy of the poor rural people. Nepal has five different types of bees, viz. Apis laborious (bir mauri), Apis dorsata (khago mauri), Apis florae (kathyauri mauri), Apis cerena and Apis melifera. Apis laboriosa is a wild species and usually dwells in altitudes above 3,000 meters from the sea level. Apis cerena is also know as the Asian honeybee and is commonly found in almost all the ecological belts of Nepal at an altitude of 3,000 meters. honey-6Apis melifera is native to Europe and was introduced in Nepal for commercial beekeeping purpose. It is common in the Terai, inner-Terai and mid-hill regions of Nepal at lower altitudes. At present, the major source of honey in Nepal is from Apis melifera.

From the commercial point of view, the demand for honey in the international market is ever increasing. The annual honey production in Nepal is 3,400 metric tons and the wax production is 40 metric tons from about 160,000 bee hives.

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