Apis mellifera (Amel_4.5)

Apis mellifera Assembly and Gene Annotation

About Apis mellifera

Apis mellifera, the European (or western) honey bee, is native to western Asia, Europe and Africa, but can now be found all around the world. The size of A. mellifera varies between 10-20mm and depends on their role (worker bees are 10-15mm long, queens 18-20mm and drones 15-17mm). A bee's food intake dictates its future role in the hive, and its life span: workers live 2-4 weeks in the summer or 11 months over the winter, drones 4-8 weeks, and queens 2-5 years.

Apis mellifera is a model species for social behaviour, and has an essential ecological role as a pollinator.

Picture credit (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.5): Andreas Trepte (http://www.photo-natur.de) 2009


The Apis mellifera genome was sequenced by the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center.

Four assemblies have been released for Apis mellifera [1]. Ensembl Metazoa uses the version 4.5 assembly, in which scaffolds are grouped into chromosomal linkage groups [2].


The annotations in Ensembl Metazoa are the OGSv3.2 gene set [2], imported from BeeBase [3]. Non-coding RNA genes were added using the Ensembl Genomes pipeline, and BLAST hits and protein features have been computed.


  1. Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera.
    Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium. 2006. Nature. 443:931-949.
  2. Finding the missing honey bee genes: lessons learned from a genome upgrade.
    Elsik CG, Worley KC, Bennett AK, Beye M, Camara F, Childers CP, de Graaf DC, Debyser G, Deng J, Devreese B et al. 2014. BMC Genomics. 15:86.
  3. Hymenoptera Genome Database: integrated community resources for insect species of the order Hymenoptera.
    Munoz-Torres MC, Reese JT, Childers CP, Bennett AK, Sundaram JP, Childs KL, Anzola JM, Milshina N, Elsik CG. 2011. Nucleic Acids Research. 39:D658-62.

More information

General information about this species can be found in Wikipedia.



AssemblyAmel_4.5, INSDC Assembly GCA_000002195.1, Feb 2011
Database version100.45
Base Pairs229,107,307
Golden Path Length250,270,657
Genebuild byBeeBase
Genebuild methodImport
Data sourceBeeBase

Gene counts

Coding genes15,314
Non coding genes539
Small non coding genes538
Long non coding genes1
Gene transcripts15,853

About this species