Himalayan Honey Bee Facts
- The comparatively enormous, and thankfully docile, Himalayan Honey Bee easily ranks as the largest known type of honey bee.
- This rather remarkable invertebrate produces a most unusual variety of honey. This uniqueness occurs partly due to the factors of its unique habitat.
- The fascinating insect actually makes three different types of honey. Each derives from different plants visited during different periods of the year.
- In the Autumn, the honey comes from various locations. During the Summer, it originates from lower and mid-range altitudes. During the Spring, the bee also produces it from plants found at extreme altitudes.
- The honey from high altitudes is quite unique, and often red in color. Due to specific factors, it also possesses relaxing qualities and actually has intoxicating effects.
Himalayan Honey Bee Physical Description
As the largest known variety of honey bee, the rather remarkable Himalayan Honey Bee attains an average length of roughly 1.2 in (3 cm).
Its physical appearance remains very much like that of other types of honey bee, except for the disparity in size. The males, or drones, have large eyes, short abdomens, and possess no stinger.
Coloring varies slightly between individuals, yet includes combinations of brown, black, and dark yellow.
Species: A. dorsata
Himalayan Honey Bee Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Furthermore, it nests only at extremely high altitudes of around 9,800 ft (3,000 m). It also builds its nests extremely large and typically under overhangs on the southwest sides of vertical cliffs. How specific is that?
The Himalayan Honey Bee forages at altitudes of as much as 13,500 ft (4,100 m). A single nest sometimes contains as much as 130 lb (60 kg) of honey. That makes a lot of goodness in just one nest.
The special quality of its honey has created a local industry. The unique nature of its honey makes it quite valuable in Asian markets, so it does not get consumed locally, but is exported.