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제목 A research team at Incheon University reveals the unique origins of the Korean native bee
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작성일 2019.01.07 15:57:59 조회수 123
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simple The Korean native bee (Tobong and Hanbong) is an Asian honeybee widely distributed in Southeast Asia including Korea, China, and Japan.
newsDay 2018.12.06
The Korean native bee (Tobong and Hanbong) is an Asian honeybee widely distributed in Southeast Asia including Korea, China, and Japan. In Korea, honey emerged as a major export item in Balhae and traded with Japan during the Three Kingdoms of Korea, suggesting that the domestic native bee breeding was active at that time. In addition, the Nihon Shoki recorded that the Prince of Baekje introduced Korean native bees and breeding techniques to Japan in 643 A.D. However, scientifically, the original Korean species have no identity in the scientific world, and so far have been named Apis cerana or Apis cerana like the Chinese native population. Therefore, for many years, definition and precise movement of the indigenous species living in our country have been urgent, and this is essential for the nation's indigenous biological resources and scientific research.

The research team led by Professor Hyung-wook Kwon of Life Science and Bioengineering Department/Insect-born Convergence Research Center at Incheon National University revealed that the entire genetic information of Mitochondria in Korea native bee was divided into different ethnic lines from China, Taiwan and Japan, and named the scientific name Apis cerana kana. These are published in the recent issue of the Journal of Apocalyptic Science (DOI 10.2478/JAS-2018-0018).
Scholars have different opinions so far, but Asian honeybees are largely divided into Indian, Himalayan, Chinese, and Japanese. The indigenous Korean species have not finded any genetic differences yet and have been treated as a Chinese descent because of its proximity to geography. In this study, the genetic variation of mitochondria was 2.57 percent and 2.58 percent China and Japan respectively, and it is possible to secure an independent status one step below that of the species.
The Korean native bee is in danger of the collapse of the indigenous bee industry and becoming extinct because Sacbrood virus occurred since 2010 and the number of it has been reduced to 10 percent. Professor Hyung-wook Kwon of Incheon University, who is in charge of the research, said, "Based on this research, we need to take measures to systematically select and manage indigenous bees of our native bee, and to find the superior characteristics and value of our native bees and to promote the indigenous bee industry” This will be an important study for restoring native species and creating resource values in a scientific way, given the ecological value of the Korean native bee.

<Note 1>Apis cerana Distribution Area 
- As a result of this research, the scientific name of Asian honeybees in Korea was Apis cerana Koreana.
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