Bees play an important role in pollinating flowering plants and are the major type of pollinator in
many ecosystems that contain flowering plants. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees including solitary species such as carpenter bees, leafcutter bees and mason bees, and social bees such as honeybees, bumblebees, and stingless bees.
However, it is now established that the bee population in India and the world over is under threat with the increase in the use of pesticides, reducing biodiversity and disappearing habitats.
At Sunder Nursery we are engaged in raising awareness on the importance of bees for a healthy ecosystem, creating and nurturing bee habitats, introducing bees in Sunder Nursery through bee boxes and training our staff in encouraging and managing bees.
At Sunder Nursery, the team has been working towards creating a sustainable and insecticide-free environment for all the birds, bees, and insects to thrive.
A mapping was undertaken to mark honeybees’ hotspots in Sunder Nursery during the flowering months from October to March. The existing as well as new colonies of naturally established colonies of indigenous bees such as Apis Cerana, Apis Dorsata and Apis Florea were mapped by the team and are being protected.
Working with the Golden Hive Foundation, which undertakes awareness workshops and trains nature volunteers from different teams on importance and process of bee keeping. A team of trained personnel is now able to monitor and take care of the bee boxes in Sunder Nursery.
Bee boxes of stingless bees and Apis Mellifera bees have been placed in Sunder Nursery with a view to educate visitors on importance of bees as well as to let the volunteers and participants of workshops get first-hand practical experience of bee keeping.
The team conducts various workshops focussed on importance of honeybees, their lifecycle, process of honey production by bees, different types of honey and process of making heel care cream from bees’ wax with visitors to Sunder Nursery. Apart from hands-on-experience of handling bees, the participants of the workshops were given free samples of natural honey, bees wax and learnt how to make heel care cream as a part of the workshops. The workshops also covered the subjects such as beekeeping as a possible livelihood opportunity.
Aga Khan Trust for Culture also collaborated with Columbia University Global Centre and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve the ‘Public Engagement Programs for Sunder Nursery’ aimed to bring enhanced effectiveness and ecological impact of Sunder Nursery.
At Sunder Nursery, we understand that We Need Insects More Than They Need Us and their immense importance for our existence. Therefore, we are not only working towards creating a safe habitat which enables them to flourish here in the Park, but also create awareness on this subject. Sunder Nursery has specialised structures like Bee boxes and ínsect hotels’ which provides dwelling habitat to a diverse type of bees and insects.
There are information signages which explain about the importance of Bees for the humans, to generate awareness amongst visitors and especially school children.
Columbia Global Centers, Mumbai and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in India have launched the #DontBeeAfraid campaign as part of the Sunder Nursery project to increase awareness about honey bees and inspire citizens to participate in bee conservation efforts.