York University researchers have found the answer of one of the most debated topics among scientists, that is where does western honey bees came from? The researchers have found out that they came from Asia.
The scientific name for western honey bee is Apis mellifera, and it expanded from Asia to other parts of Africa and Europe. In this region they have created seven separates geographically and genetically distinct evolutionary lineages.
In most part of the world honey bees is used for crop pollination and honey production. These bees also have the ability to survive in vastly different environments. They can survive in tropical rainforest to arid environments. Previously scientists have believed that it has originated in Africa.
The team of researchers have collected 251 genomes from 18 subspecies of the bee’s native range. They have used this data to reconstruct the origin of the bees and also their pattern of dispersal. Then the team found out the Asian origin supports the genetic data.
This research has also discovered several “hot spots” that has helped the bee genome to adapt to new geographic areas. The bee genome has nearly 12,000 genes. 145 of these genes have repeated signatures of adaptation. This adaptation is related to the formation of the honey bee lineages that we see today.
Adaptation also helped to develop 27 subspecies of honey bees.
The research also revealed two distinct lineages of honey bees, one in Egypt and another in Madagascar.