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[News Item #12]  Oldest Bee Fossil Discovered
2006-10-25 21:13:39

Perfectly preserved in amber, the fossil was discovered in Burma. The specimen has been dated at approximately 100 million years.

The fossil bee shows a mixture of modern wasp and bee characteristics, supporting current theories on the honeybee evolutionary path. Experts believe pollen-dependent bees arose from carnivorous wasp ancestors. Concurrent with this discovery, scientists have also completed mapping of the honeybee DNA. The DNA shows striking links with mammals and humans, according to researchers.

Fossil bee in amber - Melittosphex burmensis.

Read the complete article at the BBC Nature page.