12 June 2014
The Short Answer (TSA)
The “Eastern honey bee” is also called the “Asiatic honey bee,” but is formally named “Apis cerana.” The Eastern honey bee is to Asia what the Western honey bee, “Apis mellifera,” is to Europe and America.
The Eastern honey bee is found throughout Asia including China, Pakistan, India, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, and Bangladesh. This bee flourishes in the wild, but is also kept commercially for honey production. The Eastern Honey bee lives in smaller colonies than its Western cousin and produces slightly less honey per colony.
Of the eight breeds of Eastern honey bees, two, A. c. cerana and A. c. indica are commercially kept by bee keepers for the production of honey. Both types differ a bit in appearance from the Western honey bee.
A. c. cerana has yellow stripes on its abdomen.
A. c. indica has black stripes on its abdomen.