asian honey bee

Q & ACategory: Questionsasian honey bee
Megan Rowsell asked 5 months ago

I winder if there is a special kind of hive box to attract the asian honey bee more than our normal hives. It’s been stated that they don’t readily form in permanent beehives for beekeepers to control. If there is no special beehive box design for Apis cerana i wonder what idea you any of you have that may assist in attracting them. I’m aware they like Cymbidium floribundum which can be used as a lure, so i wonder what sort of hive (similar to what Japanese may have had) would be ideal to encourage them to stay put. It is for a topic I’m studying at Boxhill Institute. Kind regards, Megan Rowsell

1 Answers
ruthluckner Staff answered 2 months ago

Hi Megan
Permission to keep Apis cerana in Australia in a hive for research is required from the Queensland Government. University of Sydney researchers have attempted to temporarily house Apis cerana in hives for research in Cairns but without success.

Researchers used small versions of Langstroth hives like those used for Apis cerana beekeeping in China (around 1/3 the size of an Apis mellifera hive). Swarms and colonies of Apis cerana relocated into these hives always absconded after a few hours or days. USYD researchers even managed several times to find queens from wild caught Apis cerana swarms/colonies and cage them inside the hives, but in all cases the workers just absconded without the queen.

They concluded that the strain of Apis cerana that now occurs in the Cairns region is highly sensitive to disturbance (i.e. high propensity to abscond when disturbed) and probably ill-suited to beekeeping as a result. The tendency to abscond easily may have contributed to the species’ invasive spread in Australia.

Ros Gloag, University of Sydney