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Asian Honey Bee

Asian Honey Bee

The Asian honey bee is also known as Apis cerana is a species of honey bee native to southern and southeastern Asia. They are smaller than the European honey bee and are well adapted to their tropical environment. They are important pollinators and honey producers, and their hives are often found in trees or other natural cavities. Asian honey bees are also known for their unique defence mechanism called “shimmering,” where they vibrate their bodies to create a wave-like effect that disorients predators.


  • Asian honey bees are slightly smaller than European honey bees. They measure around 12-15mm in length.
  • The colouration of Asian honey bees can vary, but they are generally darker in colour than European honey bees.
  • They have a black or dark brown thorax, and their abdomen is striped with black and yellow or orange bands.
  • The wings of Asian honey bees are shorter than those of European honey bees, and they overlap slightly when folded.
  • Like other honey bees, Asian honey bees are covered in fine hairs that help them collect pollen.
  • The mandibles of Asian honey bees are shorter and less robust than those of European honey bees.

Asian Honey Bee

Life Cycle

  • Just like every honey bee, Asian Honey Bee’s cycle starts with queen bees laying eggs in the cells of the honeycomb.
  • The eggs hatch into larvae, which are fed a mixture of pollen and honey by worker bees.
  • The larva spins a cocoon around itself and transforms into a pupa. During this stage, it undergoes metamorphosis and develops into an adult bee.
  • The fully developed bee emerges from the pupa and begins to work in the hive. Worker bees collect nectar and pollen, while drones mate with the queen bee.


  • The Asian honey bee is a social insect that lives in colonies, with a queen bee, female workers, and male drones.
  • They are important pollinators for many crops and wildflowers, and their honey is used for medicinal purposes in some cultures.
  • They communicate with each other through pheromones and dance, which helps them locate food sources and communicate the distance and direction of the source.
  • Asian honey bees build their nests in hollow trees or other protected areas, and the nest is made up of a series of combs made from wax.
  • The colony is typically smaller than that of the European honey bee, with only a few thousand bees.
  • Asian honey bees are known for their ability to defend their colony against predators and threats, including the giant Asian hornet.
  • During the winter months, the colony will cluster together to conserve heat and energy, with the queen bee at the centre of the cluster.