Apis cerana, or the Asiatic honey bee (or the eastern honey bee), is a species of honey bee found in southern and southeastern Asia, such as China, Pakistan, India, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. This species is the sister species of Apis koschevnikovi, and both are in the same subgenus as the western (European) honey bee, Apis mellifera.
When an A. cerana hive is invaded by the Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), about 500 Japanese honey bees (A. cerana japonica) surround the hornet and vibrate their flight muscles until the temperature is raised to 47 °C (117 °F), heating the hornet to death, but keeping the temperature still under their own lethal limit (48–50 °C).
Workers do not re-use old wax as often as in other bee species and therefore their brood capping looks much lighter than those of Apis mellifera; they usually tear down old combs and build new wax constantly.
Apis cerana is the natural host to the mite Varroa jacobsoni and the parasite Nosema ceranae, both serious pests of the Western honey bee. Having coevolved with these parasites, A. cerana exhibits more careful grooming than A. mellifera, and thus has an effective defense mechanism against Varroa that keeps the mite from devastating colonies. Other than defensive behaviors such as these, much of their behavior and biology (at least in the wild) is very similar to that of A. mellifera.
Apis cerana is found at altitudes from sea level up to 3,500 metres in areas with appropriate flora and climate. This bee species has adapted to adverse climatic conditions and can survive extreme fluctuations in temperature and long periods of rainfall. It is unique in its ability to survive temperatures as low as -0.1ºC, a temperature lethal for other bee species (Apis mellifera).
The Biomodeling Laboratory at Seoul National University has constructed an Asian honey bee transcriptome database using a next-generation sequencing technique (Illumina hiseq2000 and GS-FLX 454 technology). This database interface will support researchers to get the molecular and sequence information about A. cerana more easily.view
Within the honey bee colony, a queen bee typically mates with 10 or more males. This extensive mating is performed in an effort to secure a great range of genetic variation in her colony to cope with diseases, as well as respond to nectar sources and a wide range of external stimuli. Apart from the queen bee, the only other sexual members of the society are the male drones, whose only function is to simply mate with the queen, after which they will die.
The colony of Apis cerana, a typical honey bee, consists of several thousand female worker bees, one queen bee, and several hundred male drone bees. The colony is constructed inside beeswax combs inside a tree cavity, with a special peanut-shaped structure on the margins of the combs where the queens are reared.
Later, I found out there actually was a difference between bees and wasps, and as far as I know, it’s mainly this: bees die when they sting you, and wasps don’t. So you have to really get up in a bee’s grill to make it sting you. Think of how angry you’d have to make something before it decided it was worth committing suicide just to hurt you. So just don’t do this to bees, and you should be fine:
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Adult worker bees predominantly feed on pollen and nectar or honey, though the nutritive value of pollen varies depending on the plant. Mixed pollens possess a high nutritive value and actually supply all the necessary materials for proper development of young animals. However, when dried, pollen quickly loses its nutritive value.
Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius described Apis cerana, also known as the Eastern or Asian honey bee, in 1793. The genus name Apis is Latin for “bee.” The Asiatic honey bee is of the Apidae family, one of the most diverse families of bees, including common honey bees, carpenter bees, orchid bees, bumblebees, cuckoo bees, and even stingless bees.
In addition to feeding themselves, bees also feed each other through a process known as “food transmission.” Moreover, workers may also obtain food from the queen, while drones acquire food by ingesting material regurgitated by other drones. Queens themselves are fed larval food by the workers during their wintering season, thereby neither feeding on nor being fed honey.
Beekeeping with Apis cerana has become an important source of income for mountain farmers, especially the poor and marginalised, as it is easy to practise. There is no capital outlay as the bee does not need to be fed, fumigated, or migrated to warmer areas in winter, and is mostly kept in traditional log hives. It also produces high-quality honey and its wax is organic and natural.
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Hindwing differences between Apis mellifera and Apis cerana : http://www.padil.gov.au/pests-and-diseases/pest/main/135533/8764
During the remainder of summer and into the fall, the colonies in the new locations build combs, rear brood, and gather food to quickly rebuild their populations and food reserves prior to the arrival of winter.
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The total number of Apis cerana colonies kept by farmers is unknown, but reports indicate an estimated 120,000 colonies in Nepal, and 1.5 million in the Himalayan region of China, about 780,000 of them in Yunnan province.
Honey production is lower than for Apis mellifera, but is being increased through a focused queen breeding and selection programme.