This bee (Rock Bee or the Giant Honey Bee – Apis dorsata) was hovering close to clusters of bright yellow flowers of Brazil Jute or the ‘Raan Bhendi’ – Malachra capitata – and was laden with pollen. Was this sweet burden a little too much for this bee to bear? This image epitomizes the role of bees as the top pollinators of the natural world. It is said that almost one third of the human food supply depends on pollination by insects and most of which is via the bees, whether wild or domesticated.
The ‘Pollen’ Bee
It was a rainy morning and we almost called off our trip! But the weather cleared and we set off under an overcast sky. Although the focus was birds, our trail was enough to make one a macro maniac !
A rapid decline in the population of wild bees has increased the value of pollination by commercially managed hives of honey bees. The threats to wild bees are the same as for any other species in the wild… habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation of land, various bee diseases, pollution, use of toxic pesticides in farms and climate change. We encountered a number of such bees while on a birding trail in Uran, off Mumbai. Uran used to be a beautiful wetland attracting a huge number of waders. Unfortunately, these water bodies have started disappearing because of reclamation and rapid infrastructure development in the area.
– Written by Dr. Sanjeev Shevade
(Image and Text by Dr. Sanjeev Shevade. He is a practicing Orthodontist from Mumbai. He loves to observe nature and document the natural world. He utilizes his photographs from the natural world to highlight its beauty as well as the threats it faces especially from humans. He is involved in spreading nature conservation awareness and carrying out educational activities related to the environment. Along with Dr.Ujwala Shevade, he is the founder of Vivant Untamed Earth Foundation, a registered body engaged in activities as mentioned above.)