Bee Shrimp, scientifically known as Caridina cantonensis, are small freshwater shrimp native to Taiwan.
They belong to the Atyidae family and are popular aquarium pets.
Bee shrimp are scavengers and eat decayed vegetation and algae.
They have a life span of about 18 months and prefer water temperatures between 70°F and 78°F (21°C to 26°C).
How Are Bee Shrimp Farmed?
In Taiwan and other areas with suitable climates, shrimp farms have been established to supply Bee Shrimp.
However, they are more difficult to farm than other types of shrimp because their health relies on being raised in soft water that matches the pH of their native streams.
What Are the Different Varieties of Bee Shrimp?
The different varieties of Bee Shrimp are given below.
Black Bee Shrimp
The Black Bee Shrimp, also known as the Crystal Bee, is the most common variety.
Many other varieties have been developed from it through selective breeding.
Blue Bee Shrimp
The Blue Bee Shrimp is a wild shrimp harvested from streams in China for aquarium owners.
Golden Bee Shrimp
The Golden Bee Shrimp has a white shell and orangy gold flesh.
Crystal Red Shrimp
The Crystal Red Shrimp, known as ‘Red Bee Shrimp’ in Japan, is a red and white variety bred for the aquarium hobby industry.
It was developed from a population of Black Bee Shrimp through selective breeding.
Shrimp breeders have given colorful names to many other Bee Shrimp variants, such as Princess Bee, Blue Bolt, Tangerine Tiger, and Shadow Panda.
How Do Bee Shrimp Reproduce?
Distinguishing Males and Females
Female Bee Shrimp are larger than males and have a deeper abdomen.
They signal readiness to mate by releasing pheromones into the water, leading males to the female.
Egg Development and Hatching
The eggs are carried under the female’s abdomen and use the pleopods to maintain a continuous circulation of water. The eggs hatch into tiny versions of adult shrimp.
The duration a female Bee Shrimp carries eggs before they hatch depends on water temperature.
At 72°F (22°C), the expected hatching time is 28 days. At 75°F to 77°F (24°C to 25°C), the shrimp develop the strongest colors.
Effects of Water Temperature on Bee Shrimp Growth
Extended high water temperatures can result in higher young and adult mortality and less egg survivability.
The warmer water brings invertebrates to maturity earlier but with a smaller body size than cold water.
Cold water environments slow down invertebrate maturity, allowing shrimp to grow larger before reaching reproductive maturity.