|What is a honeybee like?|
If you look at a bee which is collecting honey from a flower, you will see his body is divided into 3 parts; head, thorax, and abdomen. The wing consists of two parts. The front wings and rear wings are connected just like a zipper. A bee has 6 legs and the rear pair has a special device to transport pollen they collected.
There are 4 or 5 kinds of honeybees worldwide. Some researchers say there are more honeybee species if closely examined. Recently, new 5 species are reported.
Japanese name Science name Hime-mitsubachi Apis florea Touyou-mitsubachi Apis cerana Seiyou-mitsubachi Apis mellifera Oo-mitubachi Apis dorsata
Apis florea and Apis dorsata live in tropical rain area. They make hive consisting of only one comb in open space.
Apis mellifera was naturally used to live in Europe, Africa, and Middle East, and now they are bred all around the world in order to take honey from them.
No honeybees were used to live in North and South America, but now there are bees, which have ran away from human being into wild area. Especially, "Killer Bees" is important, which were imported from Africa to Brazil.
Eastern Honeybee lives in Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. Those in Japan are called Japanese honeybee. Their character and shape of the body differ by their environment, although they are same species.
Mr T.R, one of my colleague, took picture of stray swarm of eastern honeybee in Hat Yai, Thailand, where he went to catch rare local butterflies. From that photograph, I can say that color of the eastern honeybee in Thailand is more dark than Japanese. Their swarm is smaller and they don't make crowded swarm, compared to Japanese honeybee.
Western and eastern honeybees have also spread into the temperate regions. They make hive consisting of several combs in closed space.