The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861


- September 14, 2016 -

open nesting honeybees

. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the giant honey bees and cavity-nesters share a common ancestor that had a vertical dance, piping, and open nesting with several combs. From these primitive states the modern giants reverted to single combs and the cavity-nesters retained multiple combs and moved into cavities. We sometimes see a throwback to this behavior in modern A. mellifera, even in temperate zones like this picture I took from my graduate school days in Louisiana.