Tribe: Apini Latreille, 1802
Genus: Apis Linnaeus, 1758
Subgenus: Apis (Micrapis) Ashmead, 1904
Species: Apis andreniformis Smith, 1858
Common name: black dwarf honey bee
Apis andreniformis, commonly known as the black dwarf honey bee, is the smallest of all species of honey bees (between 6.5 mm and 9.5-10 mm), and along with Apis florea constitute the subgenus Micrapis (or dwarf honey bees). Wongsiri, et al. (1996) listed all the differences among the two species in the subgenus (see also fact sheet for subgenus Apis (Micrapis)).
As with all species of honey bees, A. andreniformis is a generalist and visits a broad range of plants for food.
Nests are exposed with horizontal comb that is built attached to tree branches.
Univariate morphometric studies by Rinderer, et al. (1995) in populations from Thailand and Palawan Island, Philippines had shown only differences in the length of wings and metatarsi. Multivariate morphometric analysis by Rattawannee, et al. (2007) of colonies throughout Thailand have demonstrated some clinal patterns of morphometric characters, such as body size decreasing from west to east of Thailand (associated with decreasing altitude) and increasing from south to north (associated with increasing altitude). Molecular studies have shown mtDNA haplotype divergence of only 2% for A. andreniformis, which coincides with homogenous populations (Smith 1991).
Subtropical and tropical areas of Southeast Asia from the eastern foothills of the Himalayas eastward to Indochina, Sundaland, and the Philippines (Gupta 2014). A. andreniformis is also found in the southern China peninsula, Malaysia, and Borneo.