Chiang Mai national park reports presence of Himalayan giant honey bee, the world's largest

Image from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK (The Nation Thailand/ANN): The world's largest honey bee has been discovered for the first time in Thailand at Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park in Chiang Mai’s Fang district, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) said on Saturday.

At a press conference, the department said the presence of the Himalayan giant honey bee (Apis laboriosa) has been recorded at the park since 2023, but officials had been collecting data and samples to make sure that they were not Apis dorsata, a common species of giant honey bee that can be found throughout Thailand.

The Himalayan giant honey bee has a distinguishing feature — a black abdomen with gold-yellow fur around its thorax. It also has different housekeeping and swarming behaviour, allowing it to survive at high altitudes up to 4.5 kilometres above sea level and cold weather under 25 degrees Celsius.

Found mostly in the mountainous regions of Bhutan, China’s Yunnan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, Apis laboriosa build very large nests under overhangs of vertical cliffs.

One nest can contain as much as 60kg of honey, the department said. Due to its peculiar nesting behaviour, the Himalayan giant honey bee is also referred to as the Himalayan cliff honey bee.

Like Apis dorsata, the Himalayan giant honey bee is a pollinator whose role contributes to the survivability of plant society and the biodiversity of the forest.

The Himalayan giant honey bee is the only one to produce red honey during the spring season.

Red honey has an intoxicating effect and various relaxing qualities that decrease over storage. It is a highly sought after product that is often sold at high prices due to its medicinal value, the department said.

The discovery of Apis laboriosa in Thailand adds to the roster of four species of honey bee in the Apis family native to the kingdom, namely Apis dorsata, Apis florea, Apis andreniformis, and Apiscerana. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Aseanplus News

HK actor Lee Lung Kei, 73, describes wait for 36YO fiancee's verdict as 'painful'
Philippines blames China for loss of giant clams in disputed shoal and urges environmental inquiry
Vietnam votes in new National Assembly head; Tran Thanh Man now of the 'Powerful Four' in Asean nation
Chinese navy ships arrive in Cambodia for goodwill visit; China promises great frienship between both countries
Economy projected to register moderate growth amid ongoing challenges, says Laos President
Brunei Minister highlights rise in stroke-related deaths; now fourth leading cause of death in country
Wildlife Crime Bureau launches raids leading to RM5mil worth of seizures, says Bukit Aman
Sivasangari breaks into top 10 in the world for first time
Vietnamese airlines now using environmentally-friendly aircraft to realise net-zero emission targets
Lancang-Mekong Corporation-funded project to provide clean water to villages in eastern Myanmar

Others Also Read