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tonybloke 

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PaleoPerson 

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This looks like Apis florea, which is one of the smallest true honey bees and with the size of the beehives, fits with the normal yield (less than 1 kg per colony).
 

gavin 

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In 2008 I had the good fortune to visit Tamil Nadu in southern India. I was taken to a research station where they had Apis dorsata in some trees nearby (complete with bee-eaters), Apis cerana in little mini-framed hives, and the stingless bee, Trigona iridipennis in a variety of containers, as in this video.

The bees in that video are the last one, Trigona, which makes a honey which is prized for its medicinal properties. The video was made in Kerala which is the southern state to the west of Tamil Nadu and you can read about those bees here:

http://www.vuatkerala.org/static/eng/advisory/agri/apiculture/species.htm

all the best

Gavin
 

gavin 

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Various containers being tested with stingless bees in Tamil Nadu:



Apis cerana needs no special protection:



and occupies dinky little frames:

 

guardian_10 

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Gavin, I would really appreciate if you could mention where in Tamil Nadu you saw this research station? Thank you.
 

Gardenbees 

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not worthy this is also an excuse to draw attention to the superb Honeygatherers website, with its gorgeous photographs by Eric Tourneret of beekeeping around the world:
http://www.thehoneygatherers.com/html/ataglance_9.html
The "Mexico" section shows lovely pictures of the little fly-like Scaptotrigona stingless bees in their specially-made clay pot hives. Cousins of the Indian stingless bees, they make small amounts of very posh honey!
 

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