3. Apis indica: This is the common Indian honey bee. Its size is intermediatebetween A. dorsata and A. florea.This bee builds several parallel combs,generally in hollows of trees, on the walls, inside wells, caves and similarprotected spots. This is the only Indian honey bee capable of domestication.The honeybees collect nectarfrom various flowers. The nectar isswallowed by the bees. In its stomach due to the action of enzymes certainchanges happen to the nectar. Later in the bee hive it is regurgitated andstored in chambers as honey.Apiculture or Bee keepingis the technique of rearing honey beesfor honey and wax from their comb or beehives.Uses of Honey and Bees waxHoneyhas a high nutritive value. Its colour and smell varies inaccordance with the nectar collected from different flowers.It is estimated that 200g of honey provides as much nourishment as11.5 litres of milk or 1.6kg cream or 330g meat. One gram of honey providesapproxmately 33k.cal of energy. Honey has laxative, antiseptic and sedativecharcteristics. It is used in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicines. It ishelpful in building up the haemoglobin of the blood. It prevents cough, cold,and fever. It cures ulcers on tongue and alimentary canal. It is also used in thepreparation of bread, cakes and biscuits.Beeswaxis also a natural secretion of the worker bee from the glandslocated in the abdomen. It is used in the manufacture of cosmetics, face creams,
189paints, ointments, insulators, plastic works, polishes, carbon paper and manyother lubricants. It is also used in microtomy for block preparation of tissues.B. Silk wormsSilk is another valuable product from the insect world. The silk is ob-tained as fine threads from the cocoons of various species of silkworms.Seri-cultureis the scientific management of production and marketing of naturalsilk from silkworms.Types of Silk worms1. Mulberry silkworm - Bombyx mori : This is a completely domesticatedinsect. Since the natural food of this worm is mulberry leaves, it is calledmulberry silk worm. The silk produced by this moth is white in colour. It iscalled the mulberry silk.2. Tasar Silk worm : Antheraea paphiaThis caterpillar feeds on ber, oak, sal and fig plants. The cocoon pro-duced by this worm is smooth and hard. It is of hen’s egg size. The cocoonyields reelable, brown coloured Tasar silk.3. Muga Silk worm: Antheraea assamensis: The native place of this spe-cies is Assam where it has now become a good source of cottage industry.The silk produced by this moth is known as Muga silk.4. Eri Silk worm : Attacus riciniiThe caterpillar of this worm feeds on castor leaves. The cocoons ofthis worm have very loose texture and the silk produced is called as Arandisilk locally. The threads are not glossy but much durable.
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