Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher Starr


  • David R. TarpyEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_183-1



Apiculture, or beekeeping, is the semidomestication of honey bees (genus Apis, primarily A. mellifera) in human-made and managed structures (beehives) for the purposes of harvesting honey and other hive products, providing pollination services in natural and agroecosystems, raising and selling bees to others, and providing other benefits. The practice dates back millennia and has arisen multiple times throughout human history in many different cultures and with several different species. However, given the proclivity of temperate subspecies of A. melliferato store honey, apiculture has largely adopted this species worldwide (including areas outside of its native range, most notably the New World, Australia, and East Asia) and in many cases on an industrial scale. Because they are so readily managed and highly amenable to manipulation through apicultural practices, honey bees have also become one of the main model systems for the scientific study of...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Entomology & Plant PathologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA