Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
The giant Himalayan honey bee, Apis laboriosa, was found in U.P. near Uttarkashi (el. 1300 m) and Harsil (el. 2660 m), along the gorge of the Bhagirathi Ganga, about 600 km west of its known range in Nepal. Combs at Uttarkashi were built on a south-facing cliff. These bees responded to repeated attacks by the giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia Smith, by hissing and shimmering (shaking), and foragers dropped their pollen loads. The colonies probably migrate to· escape mass slaughter by these hornets, as well as to exploit alpine flowers. At Uttarkashi, in late April, foragers visited Callistemon trees 3 km. from their nests. This rare, seasonally migrating bee was a good pollinator of apple trees in early May at Harsil, and populations should be conserved. They may be viewed by eco-tourists, bringing some income to this region.
Batra, Suzanne W.T., "Biology of Apis laboriosa Smith, a Pollinator of Apples at High Altitude in the Great Himalaya Range of Garhwal, India, (Hymenoptera: Apidae)" (1996). Ba. Paper 176.
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