TitleHow India Changed My Ideas About Honey Bees
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsBrockmann A
Date Published10/2023

Research on honey bees, one of the most famous social insects, has been largely limited to studies on Central European populations of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Most researchers view the biology and social organization of this phylogenetically derived species as the blueprint for all honey bees, although there is accumulating evidence that several important characters are unique physiological or evolutionary adaptations to living in a temperate climate. The review presents a personal (re)collection of research efforts, ideas, and opinions on the neglected Asian honey bees. There are two major take-home messages: (1) it is of utmost importance that India and other tropical Asian countries increase their research efforts to study and conserve honey bees and other insect pollinators to sustain biodiversity and human nutritional demands, and (2) the study of the behavior of the phylogenetically ancestral Asian honey bees will provide us with a profound understanding of the structure and flexibility in the social organization of honey bees.