Pollinators in Tropical Ecosystems of Southern India with Emphasis on the Native Pollinators Apis cerana indica and Tetragonula iridipennis


  • A. Indhu Laboratory of Palynology and Paleoecology, Department of Ecology, French Institute of Pondicherry, 11 St. Louis Street, Pondicherry 605001
  • J. Lazar Kanchi Mamunivar Government Institute for Post Graduate Studies and Research, Airport Road, Lawspet, Pondicherry 605008
  • S. Prasad Laboratory of Palynology and Paleoecology, Department of Ecology, French Institute of Pondicherry, 11 St. Louis Street, Pondicherry 605001
  • K. Anupama Laboratory of Palynology and Paleoecology, Department of Ecology, French Institute of Pondicherry, 11 St. Louis Street, Pondicherry 605001




Hymenoptera, Apidae, pollinators, agroecosystems, pollinator decline, pollen, melissopalynology, transformation, landscapes, pollination service, management of honey bees, conservation


Ecosystems are rapidly urbanizing at the global and regional scales, particularly in the tropics, which has deleterious effect on hymenopteran pollinators. Based on the literature spanning multiple disciplines including ecology, pollination, agriculture, agroecology and entomology, this review deliberates on the pollinators and their global decline. Also, it turns the focus on honey bees and their role in agroecosystem. Relevant information from melissopalynology is brought together and the gaps and directions of future research on conservation and management of honey bees in tropical peninsular India are discussed. Focus is on the two species of the hived native Apis cerana indica F., and Tetragonula iridipennis Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae), as these play a major role in transforming existing agricultural landscapes into agroecosystems, benefitting the farmers and maintaining ecological balance in tropical peninsular India. This review brings to the fore the fact that there is a tangible gap in reports and long-term studies of many native pollinators and in particular the two hived honey bees. Most studies present in a thorough manner visual observations of pollinators (bees) on plants but rarely combine them with quantifying the resources gathered from the plants, especially pollen. This combined approach is especially important to understand the hymenopteran pollinators from the purview of the pollination service they provide. It can be concluded that there is a pressing requirement for long-term observations along these lines with quantifiable pollen and vegetation data to arrive at meaningful plant-pollinator networks that are essential for conservation and management of the native Asiatic honey bees as pollinators.


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How to Cite

Indhu, A., Lazar, J., Prasad, S., & Anupama, K. (2023). Pollinators in Tropical Ecosystems of Southern India with Emphasis on the Native Pollinators <i>Apis cerana indica</i> and <i>Tetragonula iridipennis</i>. Indian Journal of Entomology, 85(4), 1187–1199. https://doi.org/10.55446/IJE.2021.369



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