Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are members of a multifunctional antioxidant enzyme superfamily that play pivotal roles in both detoxification and protection against oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species. In this study, a complementary DNA (cDNA) encoding a sigma class GST was identified in the Chinese honey bee, Apis cerana cerana (AccGSTS1). AccGSTS1 was constitutively expressed in all tissues of adult worker bees, including the brain, fat body, epidermis, muscle, and midgut, with particularly robust transcription in the fat body. Relative messenger RNA expression levels of AccGSTS1 at different developmental stages varied, with the highest levels of expression observed in adults. The potential function of AccGSTS1 in cellular defenses against abiotic stresses (cold, heat, UV, H2O2, HgCl2, and insecticides) was investigated. AccGSTS1 was significantly upregulated in response to all of the treatment conditions examined, although the induction levels were varied. Recombinant AccGSTS1 protein showed characteristic glutathione-conjugating catalytic activity toward 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene. Functional assays revealed that AccGSTS1 could remove H2O2, thereby protecting DNA from oxidative damage. Escherichia coli overexpressing AccGSTS1 showed long-term resistance under conditions of oxidative stress. Together, these results suggest that AccGSTS1 is a crucial antioxidant enzyme involved in cellular antioxidant defenses and honey bee survival.