Status of Apis laboriosa populations in Kaski district, western Nepal
Surendra R Joshi, Farooq Ahmad and Min B Gurung
The present study was conducted in Kaski district, western Nepal during the months of February, March, April and May in year 2001 and 2003 with the objective to identify the status of Apis laboriosa populations. Information was gathered from a total of 148 cliff sites. Of these, 54 cliff sites were visited to record longitude and latitude, cliff aspect, distance of the cliff from major bodies of water, distance from the ground, number of bee nests per cliff, and nearest settlement area. Information was also gathered from local people and honey hunters using participatory tools such as transect walks, semi-structured interviews and informal meetings. Survey results indicate a sharp decline in the bee population during recent decades. The decline observed both in the number of cliffs having bees and the number of nests per cliff. Information gathered from honey hunters and our observations indicate explanations for this decline, which are discussed.