Friday, January 17, 2014

Kadu Mane Narasimha and his Honey bee story

We met Mr Narasimha of Kadu Mane homestay in Dandeli this Sunday evening. Among other things, one of the things he is passionate about is honey bees. He has a small box full of honey bees in his campus, which he showed us, along with lots of information.
Before talking about the bees, he shared a few facts about his taluk, Joida.
-Joida is one of the biggest taluks in Karnataka and is almost as big as Goa state.
-Joida is the taluk where river Kali takes birth and River Kali provides electricity for one third of Karnataka, but most of the villages in its birth taluk, Joida are without power till date
Back to the topic of bees, Narasimha stated that he loves bees. He gently tapped on top of the box in which honey bees were kept and told us that this is the signal to the bees that door is about to be opened. He said it is a basic courtesy- similar to knocking the door when entering someone’s room.
He asked us to stay still and not to make movements. He slowly opened the box and showed us the bees. He said the ones on top were soldiers and one in the centre were worker bees. He slowly moved his face closer and kissed the bees. He said queen bee is not there in the tray he has selected. He shared following interesting facts about honey bees
·         Honey bees are responsible for 70% of pollination. (Rest 30% happens from other insects, birds and butterflies). Pollination is fundamental to agriculture and food growth.
·         Mobile tower signals are causing huge disturbance to honey bees and affecting their population. If we keep adding more and more mobile towers, soon we’ll have a situation where we’ll have to choose between mobile and food.
·         Soldier bees won’t attack unless queen bee issues command. But once command is received, there’s no looking back.
·         Bees are capable of attacking very selectively, if they can detect the exact person causing trouble. Narasimhan shared the incident when bees hit one particular boy in the crowd alone, because he had snapped a bee which came close to him.
·         Worker bees have a lifespan of about 5 months, while queen bee lives for 4-5 years.
·         Each hive can have only one queen bee and queen bee is always surrounded by soldier bees
·         Workers get honey extract only from those flowers indicated by queen bee
·         More than 500 trips to the flower is made by a bee to collect a small drop of honey
·         Queen bee, when it is about to die, goes into forest and gets an essence which it sprays on a normal egg. On spraying that essence, normal egg, which would otherwise have resulted in a worker bee or soldier bee will now result in a queen bee, with 10 times more life. Scientists have been trying desperately to learn more about this essence, but so far in vain. If detected, it is believed to extend human being’s life by 10 times.
Mr Narasimhan is a good resource person on honey bees. If you need information about bees or if you have information to share, you can reach him.
Bee therapy is getting very popular these days. Getting bitten by honey bees is believed to cure certain disease like asthma. This therapy is getting commercialized of late, where customers get to keep their hand in a closed chamber full of bees, get bitten and then pay a few thousand rupees.
As the demo was in progress, I asked him if I can change the lens. He said ok and I got down to replace the lens. The bees didn’t mind me at all.

2 days later I spotted dozens of bee hives at Yana, and bee eaters all around, attacking the hive, picking up a bee, flying away, sitting on a wire and enjoying their catch.  
I wonder why honey bees won't attack the bird for eating one of their colleagues 


Prasad Np said...

Good informative post. Any idea if in India also CCD or colony collapse disorder is causing havoc like in USA?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

No, he didn't mention anything around that

obat peninggi badan said...

good information health

Madhavan said...

Amazing blog Shrinidhi!! I have been following your blog for the last couple of years and it is so informative. If it is ok, I would like to join you in some road trip from Bangalore.Do let me know.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sure you can join. Nothing planned at this moment though. How do I reach you?

Praveen Chandra said...

Good info.

wonderful photo cap: I wonder why honey bees won't attack the bird for eating one of their colleagues

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Anonymous said...

hello Shrinidhi,

can you provide me the contact number of mr. narsimha?

--- Vishwanath G

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hi Vishwanath

You can reach him on


hemanth raj said...

Thanks for the contact details