I am not surprised that the Honeybee's genome is the insect that's most like ours (only three insects have been analyzed so far). It is a mythological creature, almost miraculous in it's impact on our lives. Without honeybees....well, we don't want to even contemplate that world.
Excellent. Maybe this amazing creature will unlock more cures for humans.
When compared to other insects, the honey bee genome contains fewer genes involved in innate immunity, detoxification enzymes, and gustatory (taste) receptors, while not surprisingly, it contains more genes for olfactory receptors and novel genes for nectar and pollen utilization. Interestingly, the honey bee genome shows greater similarities to vertebrates than insects for genes involved in circadian rhythm, as well as biological processes involved in turning genes on or off.
More on honeybees here.
The honey bee's primary commercial value is as a pollinator of crops. Orchards and fields have grown larger; at the same time wild pollinators have dwindled. In several areas of the world the pollination shortage is compensated by migratory beekeeping, with beekeepers supplying the hives during the crop bloom and moving them after bloom is complete. In many higher latitude locations it is difficult or impossible to winter over enough bees, or at least to have them ready for early blooming plants, so much of the migration is seasonal, with many hives wintering in warmer climates and moving to follow the bloom to higher latitudes.
As an example, in California, the pollination of almonds occurs in February, early in the growing season, before local hives have built up their populations. Almond orchards require two hives per acre (2,000 m² per hive) for maximum yield and so the pollination is highly dependent upon the importation of hives from warmer climates.