Honey bees (genus Apis) are social insects in the family Apidae, order Hymenoptera; they are among the Aculeata (i.e., those having stingers). They evolved after the separation of the Americas and Australia from Eurasia/Africa and are native only in the Old World. The genus Apis probably first appeared in the Eocene, about 55 mya. Tropical species A. dorsata and A. florea existed by the end of the Oligocene 25 mya, and cavity-nesting A. mellifera and A. cerana, which can also live outside the tropics, were separate species by the end of the Pliocene about 2 mya. Therefore, the highly advanced cavity-nesting species have existed only perhaps a tenth as long as the open-nesting species, which were confined to the warmer tropics. The most important species to humans is A. mellifera, which has been introduced all over the world for use in beekeeping.
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The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.