There continues to be discusion as to whether Apis mellifera originated in Asia or Africa. Because the other species of Apis are all found in Asia it has been assumed that this is where they started out. Recent research has suggested they in fact originated in Africa.

The paper from Han, Wallberg and Webster to the left explores this subject with no definitive answer. Below, from the Han et al paper, are the routes commonly suggested for the four strains of Apis mellifera. For an understanding of the four groups follow the link Am Genetics.
Scientific Beekeeping
From where did the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) originate?
Origins of Apis mellifera
Apis mellifera Sub Species
Non-Apis mellifera Honey Bees
Putting Honey Bees into Perspetcive.
Genetics Continued