Asian Honey Bee

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Other common names: Asiatic Honey Bee; Eastern Honey Bee

Scientific name: Apis cerana

The basics:
The Asian Honey Bee is one of seven recognized species of honey bee, and is native to southern and southeastern Asia. Similarly to the other domesticated honeybee, the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera), the Asian Honey Bee is used in apiculture. Their size tends to be smaller than the European Honey Bee and they also have more prominent abdominal stripes. Their honey yield is also smaller, because they form smaller colonies. In folk medicine, their beeswax is used to treat and heal wounds.

Appearance / health:
Behavior, color and anatomy of the honeybee can be quite different from one subspecies or even strain to another.

Behavior / temperament:
All honey bees live in colonies where the worker bees will sting intruders as a form of defense, and alarmed bees will release a pheromone that stimulates the attack response in other bees. Some beekeepers believe that the more stings a beekeeper receives, the less irritation each causes, and they consider it important for safety of the beekeeper to be stung a few times a season. Beekeepers have high levels of antibodies (mainly IgG) reacting to the major antigen of bee venom, phospholipase A2 (PLA). Antibodies correlate with the frequency of bee stings.

Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin apis, bee) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect honey and beeswax, to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or "bee yard". A domesticated bee colony is normally housed in a rectangular hive body, within which eight to ten parallel frames house the vertical plates of honeycomb which contain the eggs, larvae, pupae and food for the colony.

Beekeepers typically use movable frame hives. Straw skeps, bee gums, and unframed box hives are now unlawful in most US states, as the comb and brood cannot be inspected for diseases. However, straw skeps are still used for collecting swarms by hobbyists in the UK, before moving them into standard hives.

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