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Apis mellifera

Resource Type
Common Name
honey bee

The western honey bee or European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most common of the 7–12 species of honey bee worldwide. The genus name Apis is Latin for "bee", and mellifera is the Latin for "honey-bearing", referring to the species's production of honey for the winter. Like all honey bees, the western honey bee is eusocial, creating colonies with a single fertile female (or "queen"), many normally non-reproductive females or "workers," and small proportion of fertile males or "drones." Individual colonies can house tens of thousands of bees. Colony activities are organized by complex communication between individuals, through both pheromones and the dance language. The western honey bee was one of the first domesticated insects, and it is the primary species maintained by beekeepers to this day for both its honey production and pollination activities. With human assistance, the western honey bee now occupies every continent except Antarctica. Because of its wide cultivation, this species is the single most important pollinator for agriculture globally. Honey bees are threatened by pests and diseases, especially the varroa mite and colony collapse disorder. Western honey bees are an important model organism in scientific studies, particularly in the fields of social evolution, learning, and memory; they are also used in studies of pesticide toxicity, to assess non-target impacts of commercial pesticides.

Description courtesy of Wikipedia

Genome update. Previously, the i5k Workspace@NAL hosted Apis mellifera genome assembly Amel_v4.5 (GCF_000002195.4), Apis mellifera annotations amel_OGSv3.3, Functional annotation of Apis mellifera annotations amel_OGSv3.3 and NCBI Apis mellifera Annotation Release 103. The assembly and annotations have updated to the most recent assembly, Apis mellifera genome assembly Amel_HAv3.1 (GCF_003254395.2) (, Apis mellifera annotations apimel_OGSv3.4 ( NCBI Apis mellifera Annotation Release 104 (, and Functional annotation of NCBI Apis mellifera Annotation Release 104 (

Elsik CG, Worley KC, Bennett AK, Beye M, Camara F, Childers CP, de Graaf DC, Debyser G, Deng J, Devreese B, Elhaik E, Evans JD, Foster LJ, Graur D, Guigo R, HGSC production teams, Hoff KJ, Holder ME, Hudson ME, Hunt GJ, Jiang H, Joshi V, Khetani RS, Kosarev P, Kovar CL, Ma J, Maleszka R, Moritz RF, Munoz-Torres MC, Murphy TD, Muzny DM, Newsham IF, Reese JT, Robertson HM, Robinson GE, Rueppell O, Solovyev V, Stanke M, Stolle E, Tsuruda JM, Vaerenbergh MV, Waterhouse RM, Weaver DB, Whitfield CW, Wu Y, Zdobnov EM, Zhang L, Zhu D, Gibbs RA, Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium. Finding the missing honey bee genes: lessons learned from a genome upgrade.. BMC genomics. 2014 Jan 30; 15:86.
Organism Image
Image Credit
NameProgramDate Constructed
NCBI Apis mellifera Annotation Release 103NCBI Eukaryotic annotation pipelineAug 31st, 2018
Apis mellifera genome assembly Amel_v4.5 (GCF_000002195.4)Atlas assembly system v. before 2011Jan 4th, 2011
Apis mellifera annotations amel_OGSv3.3 17th, 2017
Functional annotation of Apis mellifera annotations amel_OGSv3.3AgBase functional annotation pipelineSep 30th, 2020
Apis mellifera genome assembly Amel_HAv3.1 (GCF_003254395.2)FALCON v. 0.5.0; Arcs v. 1.0.1; Links v. 1.8.5; BioNano Solve v. 3.1Sep 10th, 2018
NCBI Apis mellifera Annotation Release 104NCBI Eukaryotic Genome Annotation PipelineSep 19th, 2018
Functional annotation of NCBI Apis mellifera Annotation Release 104AgBase functional annotation pipelineMar 29th, 2024
Apis mellifera annotations apimel_OGSv3.4 16th, 2024
Assembly Stats
Contig N50
Scaffold N50
GC Content
Other Information
Community Contact
Chris Elsik|