In­cor­rect in­ter­pre­ta­tion

Down to Earth - - LETTERS -

This is re­gard­ing the ar­ti­cle "Let them bee" (1-15 July, 2017). Al­though rel­e­vant from an ecol­o­gist's point of view, the ar­ti­cle seems lop­sided to an api­cul­tur­ist. It is un­de­ni­able that non-Apis pol­li­na­tor pop­u­la­tion has de­creased. There are many rea­sons for this, in­clud­ing mono­cul­ture and ex­ten­sive use of pes­ti­cides. Clear­ing waste­land and forests for ap­ple cul­ti­va­tion de­creases hi­ber­nat­ing and breed­ing places, lead­ing to a de­cline in the pop­u­la­tion. How­ever, the ex­pan­sion of Apis mel­lif­era has not con­trib­uted to the de­cline in the pop­u­la­tion of na­tive pol­li­na­tors, as sug­gested in the ar­ti­cle. Of course, there is some over­lap­ping, but there is al­ways a re­source par­ti­tion­ing due to the mor­phol­ogy of pol­li­na­tors and flow­ers.

A largely un­known fact is that dur­ing the 1980s, a dis­ease had wiped out the na­tive Apis ce­rama in north and south In­dia. In the ab­sence of any mea­sures to con­trol the vi­ral dis­ease, it was cru­cial to extend

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