Asian honey bees: biology, conservation and human interactions.

Asian honey bees: biology, conservation and human interactions. Benjamin P. Oldroyd, Siriwat Wongsiri.

Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2006. Octavo, dustwrapper, black and white illustrations.

The familiar European hive bee, Apis mellifera, has long dominated honey bee research. But in the last 15 years, teams in China, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand began to shift focus to the indigenous Asian honey bees. Benjamin Oldroyd, well known for his work on the genetics and evolution of worker sterility, has teamed with Siriwat Wongsiri, a pioneer of the study of bees in Thailand, to provide a comparative work synthesising the rapidly expanding Asian honey bee literature. After introducing the species, the authors review evolution and speciation, division of labour, communication and nest defence. They underscore the pressures colonies face from pathogens, parasites and predators - including man - and detail the long and amazing history of the honey hunt. This book provides a cornerstone for future investigations on these species, insights into the evolution across species, and a direction for conservation efforts to protect these keystone species of Asia's tropical forests.

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