India is home to 48 of the 250 known species of bumblebees. It was revealed by the book Indian Bumblebees released in April 2015.
The book was written by entomologist M.S. Saini along with co-authors Rifat H. Raina and Harpeet Singh Ghator.
• Like the honeybees, bumblebees are social insects and live in colonies. The size of colonies varies from species-to-species.
• Mostly characterised by black, yellow and reddish body hair, and often striped, bumblebees are generally found on altitudes of 2000-15000 feet along the entire Himalayas, from Jammu and Kashmir to Nagaland.
• The founder of the colony is the queen that hibernates throughout winter. In spring, she finds a site for a nest and then lays her eggs which will result in worker bees.
• They are crucial for the very sustenance of vegetation in high-altitude regions because they are the only pollinators which can live in that adverse climate.
• They pollinate vegetables, fruit trees, cash crops and even ornamental and medicinal plants high in the Himalayas.
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