Dwarf Honeybee (Apis florea) - Wiki
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[Photo] Dwarf Honeybee (Apis florea) worker bee from our garden in Bangalore city, India. The color of the pollen sacks in this bee is bright orange always... Date March 03, 2007. Author Vijay Cavale
|Copyright (C) 2007 Vijay Cavale|
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The Dwarf Honeybee
) is one of two species of small, wild honeybee
s of southern and southeastern Asia. It has a much wider distribution than its sister species, Apis andreniformis
This together with A. florea is the most plesiomorphic honeybee
species alive. Separating roughly about the Bartonian (some 40 mya or slightly later) from the other lineages, among themselves they do not seem to have diverged a long time before the Neogene.(Arias & Sheppard 2005)
These two species together comprise the subgenus Micrapis, and are the most primitive of the living species of Apis, reflected in their small colony size, and simple nest construction. The exposed single combs are built on branches of shrubs and small trees. The forager bees do not perform a waggle dance to recruit nestmates as in the domesticated Apis mellifera
. Instead they "dance" on the horizontal upper surface where the comb wraps around the supporting branch. The dance is a straight run pointing directly to the source of pollen or nectar that the forager has been visiting. In all other Apis species, the comb on which foragers dance is vertical, and the dance is not actually directed towards the food source.
Aside from their small size, simple exposed nests, and simplified dance language, the life cycle and behavior of this species is fairly similar to other species of Apis.
The main parasite
s of both A. andreniformis and A. florea belong to genus Euvarroa. However, A. andreniformis is attacked by the species Euvarroa wongsirii, while Euvarroa sinhai preys on A. florea and colonies of Apis mellifera
that are imported. The two species of Euvarroa have morphological and biological differences: while E. wongsirii has a triangular body shape and a length of 47 to 54 micrometres, E. sinhai has a more circular shape and a length of 39 to 40 micrometres.
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