Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Fabr. Syst. Piez. p. 370.


Hab. India, Malacca, Borneo.

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Smith, F.



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Apis cerana indica

Apis cerana indica is a subspecies of honey bee. A. c. indica is one of the important pollinating agents for coconut palms; the other species are: Apis florea, Apis dorsata and Apis mellifera (the European bee).[1]

Apis cerana (Indian honeybees)

Apis cerana is a subspecies of honeybees, there are two subspecies of A.Cerana which are Apis cerana cerana and Apis cerana indica, these species are similar to Apis mellifera, and A.mellifera tends to be slightly larger than A.cerana and can be readily distinguish them. A. cerana is one of the predominant species found and domesticated in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand and mainland Asia. These are less aggressive than any wild bees and also less swarming behavior and can be easily used for beekeeping.

They are also called Eastern honeybees/Indian honeybees. They usually build multiple combs nest in some tree hallows and some man made structures. These bees can adapted to living in cavities in some human structures and in purpose-made hives, and their nesting habit means that they can potentially colonize temperate or mountain areas with prolonged winters or cold temperatures.


  1. ^ P.K. Thampan. 1981. Handbook on Coconut Palm. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co.

1.Benjamin P.Oldroyd and Siriwat Wongsiri: Asian Honey Bees (Biology, Conservation, and Human Interactions). 2006: Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England.

2.Tautz, J and M. Lindauer. 1997. Honeybees establish specific nest sites on the comb for their waggle dances. Journal of Comparative Physiology.180:537-539.

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