Honey Bees in Modernized South East Asia: Adaptation or Extinction?

  • Panuwan Chantawannakul
Part of the Asia in Transition book series (AT, volume 7)


Honey bees (Apis spp.)––key pollinators––have evolved over millions of years along with flowering plants and Southeast Asia is a key biodiversity hotspot for honey bees. They are known to play a crucial role in maintaining plant biodiversity in forests and agricultural crops for human food production. This chapter describes the history of beekeeping, beekeeping practices, and offers an overview of the impact of changing environments as well as human activities on honey bee populations in Southeast Asia. It presents an overview of the challenges that honey bees currently face in Southeast Asia and contextualizes traditional knowledge and beekeeping practices to harvest bee products that have long been embedded in local cultures. The chapter also examines and introduces how, in recent decades, societies in Southeast Asia have undergone significant transformations, which have severely affected wild and domesticated honey bee populations. It shows how under these conditions some species have adapted to the new environment, whereas other bee populations have been rapidly decreasing. A combination of human activities (e.g., land use and deforestation), newly emerging diseases and climate change have meant that they are struggling to adapt and maintain species survival in the region.


Asian honey bees Deforestation Conservation Land use Bee health Pollinators Bee diseases Bee parasites Biodiversity 



The author would like to thank the Chiang Mai University fund and Thailand research fund (RSA 6080028) for supporting this research.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand

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