Friday, January 04, 2008

International Heritage Site Tag Sought for Indian Bee Tree

A Tree Full of Honey
The Hindu (India), 1/4/2007

…A unique banyan tree near Nandagudi in Hoskote taluk that has the “world’s largest number of beehives” — as many as 600 — is being pegged for an International Heritage Site tag.

The Institute for Natural Resources Conservation, Education, Research and Training (INCERT) is making efforts to get this matchless tree get recognised as an International Heritage Site so as to create awareness about the importance of this bee colony.

Speaking to The Hindu, M.S. Reddy, Reader, Department of Zoology, Bangalore University, said that the banyan tree was being monitored by apiculturists for more than a decade, and their records show that there were approximately 625 bee colonies around November 2005.

A survey conducted in October 2007 revealed the number of hives in the tree to be around 575. Dr. Reddy said: “The effort to recognise this tree as an International Heritage Site will not only help horticulture prosperity, but also play a vital role in protection of the environment and maintaining the ecological balance as bees, through pollination, help increase the biodiversity.”

The banyan tree is largely surrounded by eucalyptus trees whose flowers are a major source of nectar to the bees…

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