Honey Bee Biology

Image: Wax scales secreted between tergites of the honey bee abdomen. Credit: Zach Huang

       Honey bees are a fascinating model organism with a complex mating and inheritance system, highly evolved social behavior, dance communication language, and mutualistic interaction and evolution with flowering plants. All honey bees belong to the genus Apis and bees in this genus are the only species to store large amounts of honey and exhibit a perennial life cycle.
       The western honey bee (Apis mellifera) is native to Europe and has since been spread all over the globe. It is the primary honey bee of western civilization, while the eastern honey bee (Apis ceranae) is the counterpoint in eastern civilization. Below are pages that describe the biology, anatomy, morphology, sociology, and physiology of Apis mellifera.