|Eastern honey bee|
Apis cerana, or the Asiatic honey bee (or the Eastern honey bee), are small honey bees of southern and southeastern Asia, such as China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea. This species is the sister species of Apis koschevnikovi, and both are in the same subgenus as the Western (European) honey bee, Apis mellifera.
In the wild, they prefer to nest in small spaces, such as hollowed out tree trunks. Like the Western honey bee, they are sometimes domesticated and used in apiculture, mostly in wooden boxes with fixed frames. Their size is similar or somewhat smaller than Apis mellifera, and they also have a more prominent abdominal stripes. Their honey yield is smaller, because they form smaller colonies. In folk medicine, their beeswax is used to treat and heal wounds.
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.
(following Engel, 1999).
Species: Apis cerana
Subspecies: A. c. cerana - A. c. indica - A. c. himalaya - A. c. japonica - A. c. javana - A. c. sinensis
Apis cerana Fabricius, 1793
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