African Honey Bees
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African honey bees are those subspecies of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, that occur naturally on the African continent and some of the nearby islands. Forms of the same species also occur naturally in Europe. It should be noted that these boundaries are no longer entirely diagnostic, as European forms have been introduced into all inhabitable continents for purposes of apiculture , while one African form is now widespread in the New World tropics. This complication aside, A. mellifera has radiated into four major lineages: African (A, the subject of this entry), west European (M), southeast European (C), and Eastern (O) [1, 10]. Lineage A also has some natural presence outside the African continent; these lineages are not strictly restricted to particular geographic regions as one can see from the influence of the A lineage within the Mediterranean region (see Box 1 in 8).
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