Bees Variety

Apis Mellifera

Honey bee Apis mellifera, known as the European bee or in Indonesia known as superior bee. Bees are classified as benign(ie. not easy to attack / sting) and easy maintenance, the most important thing is to master the management of the colony.

Mellifera honeybees was first present in Indonesia known from Australia to Apiari Scouts in the early decades of the 1970s. However, some say well before there are some people trying to farm in Central Java with the mainland of China. In spite of it all is to be noted is the role of the precursor are very concerned in the development of this bee species in Indonesia are Apiari Scouts, Department of Forestry, and BPPT.

Mellifera honey bees at this point is easily found in Central Java (Pati, Jepara, Batang, Boyolali, Semarang, Waterford), in East Java (Malang, Pasuruan, Probolinggo, Banyuwangi, Kediri), in West Java (Sukabumi), in Yogyakarta , in Papua (Wamena).

Honey produced from bees can actually be as high as 60 kg / colony / year, with a note that the plants bees feed and adequate management of colonies done correctly. Honey is well known that results from the mellifera honey bee is cotton, honey, durian, rubber honey, lychee honey, honey Kaliandra, honey rambutan. Other beekeeping products that can be produced mellifera bees are pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax.

  • Apis Cerana

    Apis cerana, or the Asiatic honey bee (or the Eastern honey bee), are small honey bees of southern and southeastern Asia, including all the countries of the Himalayan region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan) as well as Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and Vietnam, and probably other countries. This species is also known as the Himalayan hive honeybee. This species is the sister species of Apis koschevnikovi, and both are in the same subgenus as the Western (European) honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    It is still found in the wild, where it nests in tree holes, fallen logs, and crevices, but it is also one of the few bee species that can be domesticated. Like the Western honey bee, they are domesticated and used in apiculture, mostly in wooden boxes with fixed frames. Their size is similar or somewhat smaller than Apis mellifera, and they also have a more prominent abdominal stripes. Their honey yield is smaller, because they form smaller colonies. In folk medicine, their beeswax is used to treat and heal wounds.

    Farmers in the Himalayan region benefit directly from honey and other bee products from Apis cerana which are a source of income, nutrition, and medicine. The bees are also important pollinators, ensuring the pollination of mountain crops, especially early flowering fruit and vegetables. It is available when temperatures are still too low for the exotic Apis mellifera species, and still flies under cool and cloudy conditions. As with other wild bees, Apis cerana also plays an important role in combating soil degradation by pollinating wild plants and ensuring that more biomass is available to be returned to the soil.

    Beekeeping with Apis cerana has become an important source of income for mountain farmers, especially the poor and marginalised, as it is easy to practice. There is no capital outlay as the bee does not need to be fed, and is mostly kept in traditional log hives. It also produces high-quality honey and its wax is organic and natural.

    Honey production is lower than for Apis mellifera, but is being increased through a focused queen breeding and selection program.

    .Apis cerana is the natural host to the mite Varroa jacobsoni and the parasite Nosema ceranae, both serious pests of the Western honey bee. Having coevolved with these parasites, A. cerana exhibits more careful grooming than A. mellifera, and thus has an effective defense mechanism against Varroa that keeps the mite from devastating colonies. Other than defensive behaviors such as these, much of their behavior and biology (at least in the wild) is very similar to that of A. mellifera.

    Workers do not re-use old wax as often as in other bee species and therefore their brood capping looks much lighter than those of Apis mellifera; they usually tear down old combs and build new wax constantly.

    Apis Dorsata : Giant Honey Bee

    Apis dorsata is found in south and southeast Asia predominately. It's an old specie that sits between apis cerana (asiatic honeybee) and apis mellifera (western honeybee) in age. Dorsata is not a cavity dweller, they build a massive single comb 1 - 3 meters wide. Layers of bees cover the outside. The comb is usually built on tree limbs, cliffs and on buildings. Apis dorsata are migratory and will return to the same location year after year. How they are able to do this is still being studied.

    Dorsata honey, comb and brood is commonly harvested in Cambodia, Indonesia, India and Nepal prior to the rainy season when they will leave looking for dryer pastures as they are not cavity dwellers like mellifera. Traditionally honey hunters will head out into the jungle searching for the massive bee covered combs. Using fairly primitive, yet effective methods they will smoke the bees using an ingenious hand wrapped smoke torch made from tropical plant fronds/leaves. They smoke the giant bees then cut down the entire comb brood and all. All of this is done without any bee suits.

    After the comb is cut down they will use the "crush and strain" method to extract the honey. The brood will often times be cooked and eaten. This is a fairly heavy handed way of harvesting as it does remove all the comb and kills the brood. The bees themselves simply fly off and start a new giant comb. The colony itself is not killed. Some honey hunters use a lower impact and more sustainable technique. They will look for the colonies as night. Using rope ladders they climb high up in the trees to the hanging colonies. Flash lights are used very sparingly, dorsata will go after them. They will locate the honey stores at the top of the honey comb. Honey stores are easy to identify because the comb is thicker. They honey hunter brushes away the layers of bees over the honey stores. These guys do use bee suits. Once the honey stores are uncovered they will use a knife and cut only the honeycomb out. This leaves the brood and pollen stores intact. The bees will replace their stores in about 15 days or so allowing for multiple harvests from the same colony.