Hint: The most widely reared honey bee species in India are medium-sized bees. They are good nectar collectors and honey bee producers. On average, a colony makes 3.6-4.5 kg of honey. The members of the colony are in the habit of frequent swarming and absconding and are easy prey to their enemies.
The most widely reared honey bee species of India is Apis indica. It is smaller than Apis dorsata and larger than Apis florea. It builds several combs in the hollows of trees and rocks, inside caves and termite mounds, etc. Under domestication, it makes combs in all kinds of cavities and recesses. There are several regional varieties of Apis Indica. The commonest among them are hill and plain varieties. The workers of the hill bees are comparatively larger and darker, while those of the plain bees are smaller and yellowish. Bees living in plains construct combs, parallel to the direction of the entrance, but those in altitudes build combs at right angles to the entrance.
Apis mellifera is commonly called the European honey bee, although it has Italian origin. It is a medium-sized, black colored gentle bee, next to Apis dorsata.
Apis dorsata is the giant wild honey bee commonly called the rock honey bee or forest honey bee. It is the largest Indian bee and it lives all over India and Myanmar in plains and hilly tracts.
Apis florea a little honey bee, living in plains in Bengal, Assam, Central India, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. It is not a domesticated species.
So, the correct answer is option (c) ‘Apis indica’.
Note: Honey bees belong to the family Apida, order Hymenoptera, class Insecta. Most of the known honey bees belong to the genus Apis.
The important species of this genus are; Apis dorsata, Apis indica, Apis florea, Apis mellifera, Apis adamsoni, Apis nearctica, etc.
Honey bees produce and supply honey and wax. Honey is the nectar collected from blossoms and then concentrated and chemically modified by the worker bees.