Dwarf Honey Bee: 7. A close look at the bees

posted in: Bees and wasps | 0

Dwarf Honey Bee: 1. Colony; 2. What happens when it rains?; 3. Bees have absconded; 4. A piece of damaged comb; 5. Invasion of Wax Moth.; 6. A new colony develops.

A foraging Dwarf Honey Bee.

The daily presence of Dwarf Honey Bees (Apis andreniformi) harvesting nectar from Bush Grape (Cayratia mollissima) flowers provided an opportunity to take a closer look at these bees.

A Dwarf Honey Bee collecting nectar from a Bush Grape flower.

According to this LINK, this bee is known as the Black Dwarf Honey Bee as it is black with yellow bands on the abdomen. There is also a Red Dwarf Honey Bee (Apis florea) which is similar to the black except that its colour is “red-brown and has quite distinct red/brown and white and black bands on the abdomen.” The foraging worker bees of both the Black and the Red Dwarf Honey Bees have a body length of 7-10 mm and the forewing is 6.0-6.9 mm.

Dwarf Honey Bee showing pollen basket packed with pollen (arrow).

Dr Leong Tzi Ming believes that the black Dwarf Honey Bees nest in areas where there is a convenient nearby water supply in the form of a running stream, pond or even a swimming pool, possibly for the bees to collect water to cool the nest.

A foraging Dwarf Honey Bee collecting water from drops on a leaf.

Nesting of these bees are external and they have a single comb built around a slender branch. The crown of the comb is above the branch, used to store honey. The suspending comb is used to rear the brood. The colony is made up of a few thousand bees.

Colony of Dwarf Honey Bee,

YC Wee & Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
3rd February 2019

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