Morse, Roger A. Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Last reviewed:June 2019
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- Biology of the honeybee
- Use in medicine
- Use in baking
- Scientific beekeeping
- Commercial practice
- Declining bee populations
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The management and maintenance of colonies of honeybees for human purposes. Beekeeping is an ancient art. Although the commonly known honeybee species (Fig. 1) is native to Europe and Africa, humans have transported them to other continents. The natural home for a honeybee colony is a hollow tree (Fig. 2), log, or cave. European strains of the honeybee build a nest only in locations that are dry and protected from the wind and sunlight. African bees are less selective and may nest in hollowed-out termite mounds, rock piles, and locations that are less well protected. It is not known when humans first started to husband bees. However, there is much archeological and historical evidence that there were beekeepers (apiarists) among all of the ancient European and African civilizations. See also: Agricultural science (animal); Ecology; Economic entomology; Hymenoptera
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