18 August 2015

Honey Bee from Tabuk - record by Viv Wilson

Viv Wilson photographed a Honey Bee in Tabuk and sent me the photos for use on my website. I am not sure what Honey Bee it is but Apis mellifera jemenitica has been used in apiculture throughout the Arabian Peninsula since at least 2000 BC. Existing literature demonstrates that these populations are well adapted for the harsh extremes of the region with populations of A. m. jemenitica native to Saudi Arabia far more heat tolerant than the standard races often imported from Europe. Central Saudi Arabia has the highest summer temperatures for the Arabian Peninsula, and it is in this region where only A. m. jemenitica survives, while other subspecies fail to persist. The indigenous race of Saudi Arabia differs from other subspecies in the region in some morphological, biological, and behavioural characteristics. Further taxonomic investigation, as well as molecular studies, is needed in order to confirm whether the Saudi indigenous bee populations represent a race distinct from A. m. jemenitica, or merely an ecotype of this subspecies.
Honey Bee