Traditional Knowledge: Three breeds of Bees

Lisu people domesticate bees called Jeyo (the apis) in a hollow chiseled wood of about three feet long.

Photo: A wooden box for rearing bees.

An elderly person told me there are three varies of jeyo – shokhwaje, dasoje and ngekoloje.

Shokhwaje: this bee is named after a hardwood called shokhwa. Je is honey or it can mean bees.They produce more honey than others and are larger in size. They are hairy and black. They extract sweets only from flowers, never seen on ground.

Dasoje: Daso is a kind of trees, usually used for making bows. In local Assamese it is called bolagas. They produce honey lesser than Shokhwaje.

Ngekoloje: The name comes after a bird called Ngekolo. This kind of bees do not grow larger size honey and therefore less productive. They do not always feed from flowers. Sometimes they collect honey from ground where urinated.

Photo: Closer view of bee colony.

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