Apis cerana

Apis cerana also known as eastern honeybees, Asian honeybees, or Asiatic honeybees are a type of honeybee that are found naturally in Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia. Apis koschevnikovi;s sister species is Apis cerana and both belong to the same subgenus known as Apis mellifera, the western European honey bee.


Male Asian honeybees can be identified by the long hair that covers their eyes. These hairs help collect pollen grains. They are coloured black with yellow stripes present on the abdomen. Queen bees, workers and drones are distinguished. Workers are characterized by pollen being pressed against their hind legs and have stingers. The queen bee is taller than the worker. A drone is a male without having any stingers and is defined with big eyes.

About Sympatry observed in Apis cerana

If two species occur in the same geographic area and meet frequently, they are considered sympatric. Simply put, one species becomes two different species that live in the same area.


Asian honeybees are common in rainforests, mid-latitude grasslands, moist and dry savanna, mid-latitude dry grasslands, moist deciduous forests and taiga. Their outbreaks extend to eastern Indonesia from Primorsky Krai in Russia. In the 1970s, they were also intentionally introduced in Australia.

About Nest Thermoregulation

Apis cerana keeps the honeycomb temperature in the ranges of 33-35 degrees Celsius, even if the ambient temperature fluctuates between the ranges of 12-36 degrees Celsius. This is known as thermoregulation of Asian honeycombs. In hot weather, worker bees gather outside the nest and spread their wings. This removes excess moisture and heat from the nest. Nest warmth regulation is also used as a defense system. When Asian honeycombs are attacked by wasps, worker bees surround the wasps and vibrate the flight muscles until the temperature rises to 47 degrees Celsius. This heats the wasp and causes it to die.

About Waggle Dance

Waggle dance is a dance which is performed by beehive workers. They perform this dance only when a rich source of nectar and pollen is discovered. During the performance of this dance, the worker bees stage their latest journey to the honey-rich spring.

About anti-predator pipes

Bees usually emit sounds and alarm signals to protect themselves from predators. These warning signals are similar to mammalian warning signals. In the month of November 2021, it was discovered that anti-predator pipes were being used by the Asian honeybees to warn similar bees. Whistling to predators is different from the normal noise observed in bees. The anti-predator tube contains hisses and stop signals. These signals are harsh and unstable and are similar to screams of horror and panic calls.