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Chet Bhatta receives 2018 Best Dissertation Chapter on an International Topic Award from Phi Beta Delta, Honor Society of International Scholars, Alpha Pi Chapter, University of Kansas.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Chet Bhatta, PhD Candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is awarded by the Best Dissertation Chapter on an International Topic Award 2018 from Phi Beta Delta, Honor Society of International Scholars, Alpha Pi Chapter, University of Kansas. His dissertation chapter  entitled,"Nesting biology, niche modelling, and traditional uses of stingless bees in Nepal (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Meliponini) " is based on his fieldwork in Nepal during 2015 and 2016; Chet investigated the occurrence of stingless bees in Nepal through field surveys and ethnographic research across the Terai and Pahad regions (21 districts and 12 zones) and identified a single species, provisionally identified as Tetragonula iridipennis (Smith), in nine districts and seven zones. He also is the researcher to first its nesting biology, local indigenous nomenclature, uses, traditional management practices, and knowledge of its behavior. In addition, he determined the relative cultural importance of this species for each  ethnic community (Chhetri, Brahmin, Tharu, and Kirat) that participated in the study. He found nests of T.  iridipennis inside cavities of medium to very large canopy trees of economic and cultural importance and described 18 specific uses of bee products in food, medicine, crafts, and religious beliefs. Niche models suggest a broad distribution of T. iridipennis in southern Nepal. Niche models in combination with our field data suggested areas where the bee species may be locally extinct as well as areas where it may have been introduced by humans. This study also discussed the conservation status and future directions for the sustainable use of this bee species in Nepal. This dissertation chapter is under currently under review for publication in in Journal of Apicultural Research. 



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