Guest Editorial: Effects of agricultural development on honey bees in Thailand
Siriwat Wongsiri, Ping-Ping Chen
Apis cerana, A. florea, A. dorsata and A. andreniformis are native in SE Asia, while A. mellifera is an introduced species. Modern beekeeping in Thailand started in the early 1940s. European honey bees in movable-frame hives were introduced at Chulalongkorn University for research, but they did not survive. The second introduction of Apis mellifera Iigustica was made by Saman Watanakit in 1953, at Kasetsart University, and subsequent introductions did not succeed commercially until the early 1970s'. Figure 1 shows the changes in the number of A. mellifera and A. cerana colonies between 1975 and 1994. There was a boom in beekeeping after 1980, due to low honey production from native bees and the high price of Thai honey in local markets. Since then, the beekeeping industry with the European honey bee has been expanding very fast, reaching at present almost 100000 colonies in the country.
Beekeeping in Thailand, Agricultural Development, A. mellifera