Cape Honey Bee Apis mellifera capensis Escholtz
An adult female Cape honey bee, Apis mellifera capensis Escholtz,  collecting pollen and nectar on a flower in South Africa.
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How to Cite

Ellis, James D. 2012. “Cape Honey Bee Apis Mellifera Capensis Escholtz: EENY-513/IN916, 12/2011”. EDIS 2012 (1). Gainesville, FL.


Cape honey bees can produce both male and female offspring parthenogenetically. Unlike other African bee races, they are docile, but unlike all other races of honey bees, they are social parasites. Find out why South African beekeepers consider Cape bees a more serious threat than the varroa mite in this 4-page fact sheet. Written by James D. Ellis and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, December 2011.

EENY-513/IN916: Cape Honey Bee Apis mellifera capensis Escholtz (Hymenoptera: Apidae) (
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Hepburn HR. 2001. The enigmatic Cape honey bee, Apis mellifera capensis. Bee World 82:181-191.

Hepburn HR, Radloff SE. 1998. Honeybees of Africa. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 370 pp.

Johannsmeier MF. 2001. Beekeeping in South Africa. Plant Protection Handbook No. 14, Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa. 288 pp.