Oil, 24k gold leaf and white gold leaf on aluminum panel,
Image: 18"h x 24"w, framed: 25.5"h x 31.5"w, Item No. 19778,
Conservation in India tends to focus solely on the big cats, elephants and rhinos. Bees seem to be missing from the discourse, and they are critical pollinators - they, together with other pollinators, pollinate almost 90% of flowering plants and 70% of 124 of the world's main crops. Bees are on the decline due to use of pesticides and habitat loss, and a world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population of 7 billion.
The Carpenter Bee, one of the 700 bee species in India, is one of the many that are 'solitary' (no hives, no honey). Solitary bees are crucial to the pollination success of blueberries, cranberries, tomatoes, eggplants, apples, plums, almonds, and lentils among others. In Indian history and mythology, Carpenter Bees were used to carry messages tied to their thorax, like passenger pigeons.