Most of the bee species in Japan are non-domestic types. Today honey is widely recognized as a healthy food, and bout 95 percent of the honey consumed in Japan is imported. Beekeepers are on the decline, not only due to the inundation of imported honey but also because honeybees are susceptible to weather anomalies and pollution. Today pure, unprocessed domestic honey has become something of a luxury product and is three times the price of imported honey.
“European honeybees are good at collecting the nectar of one plant species, but Japanese honeybees move about nimbly and literally collect the nectar of a hundred different flowers. Also, whereas honey produced by European honeybees is harvested several times in the spring and summer with the blossoming of different flower species, that of Japanese honeybees is harvested only once a year in the fall. This gives time for the honey to slowly mature and enhance its medicinal properties.”
Research has proven various advantages of Japanese honeybees. First, they are resistant to such infectious diseases as foulbrood and chalkbrood. Second, they know how to fight Japanese giant hornets and other intruders. European honeybees are defenseless against giant hornets, which were absent in their native habitat, so that a small number can devastate an entire colony. But Japanese honeybees immobilize invading hornets by attacking them in large groups, form a ball around them, and heat them to death by vibrating their flight muscles so that the temperature in the ball rises to around 47 degrees Celsius.
Categories: Life Cycles