The number of honeybee colonies at present in China is estimated to be 6 million; two thirds of these are Apis mellifera (mainly in NE, NW and central regions) and one third Apis cerana (mainly in the S and SW). A dorsata and A florea are also present in some provinces. The annual production of honey is 100,000 t, and the main nectar plants include Astragalus sinicus, Robinia pseudacacia, Tilia spp, Vitex negundo, Eurya spp, Citrus spp, Litchi chinensis, Euphoria longan and Eriobotrya japonica.
Chinese A cerana are tolerant of Varroa, able to evade predatory wasps, not affected by toxins found in tea (Camellia sinensis) nectar, resistant to cold and have an extended daily foraging period. However, they are also susceptible to wax moths, prone to swarming, aggressive, habitual robbers, and the queens are often poor egg layers.