The precursor of the insect hormone corazonin has been cloned from the honey bee Apis mellifera. The precursor predicts a novel isoform of corazonin, pQTFTYSHGWTNamide, which was confirmed by tandem mass spectrometry. Although Apis corazonin differs only by a glutamine/threonine substitution from [His7]-corazonin, it is considerably less active in the dark color inducing assay on albino locusts. Whole mount fluorescence immunohistochemistry of the central nervous system of the honey bee showed a pattern similar to the ones described for other insects. Four neurons of the lateral protocerebrum project axons towards the retrocerebral complex. It is unlikely that Apis corazonin is present in all hymenopteran species since the presence of this peptide could not be demonstrated by means of mass spectrometry in the retrocerebral complex of the red wood ant Formica rufa and the wasp Vespula saxonica. Instead, we found masses corresponding with [Arg7]- and [His7]-corazonin respectively, suggesting that some of the corazonin isoforms originated late during evolution in different insect orders.