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Identification of nanoparticles on the surface of thorax, abdomen & wings of Apis dorsata Fabricius

The presence of nanoparticles on the body of the honeybee Apis dorsata Fabricius, was
investigated for the frst time to better understand the bee’s behaviour. These have been
observed by using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy
(TEM) and confrmed by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Our study clearly denotes that
the Indian rock honey bee Apis dorsata possess calcium silicate and calcium phosphate
nanoparticles on its body surface of 5-50 nm in diameter. In particular, the nanoparticles
on the abdomen and thorax of A. dorsata have an average diameter of about 10 nanometers and they are smaller than those found on wings of the same bees which are about
20 nanometers. The nanoparticles found are different of the ones previously observed
on honey bees or other insects. The origin and role of these natural nanoparticles on the
body of the Indian rock bee need to be to be further investigated; more research in the
subject might raise important aspects in relation to the conservation of these unique


Atanu Bhattacharyya, Sashidhar Viraktamath, Fani Hatjina, Santanu Bhattacharyya, Bhaktibhavana Rajankar, Amitava Patra (2016) A positive identification of nanoparticles on the surface of thorax, abdomen and wings of the worker honey bee Apis dorsata Fabricius. J. of Apicultural Science, 60(1): 73-82

Nanoparticles_Bhattacharyya et al 2016.pdf