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.
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.
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.
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.
YC Wee & Leong Tzi Ming
3rd February 2019