Supported by:
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Register Login

Standard methods for characterising subspecies and ecotypes of Apis mellifera


The natural diversity of honey bees in Europe is eroding fast. A multitude of reasons lead to a loss of both genetic diversity and specific adaptations to local conditions. To preserve locally adapted bees through breeding efforts and to maintain regional strains in conservation areas, these valuable populations need to be identified. In this paper, we give an overview of methods that are currently available and used for recognition of honey bee subspecies and ecotypes, or that can be utilised to verify the genetic origin of colonies for breeding purposes. Beyond summarising details of morphometric, allozyme and DNA methods currently in use, we report recommendations with regard to strategies for sampling, and suggest methods for statistical data analysis. In particular, we emphasise the importance of reference data and consistency of methods between laboratories to yield comparable results.

    1. 2.1. Sampling and storing specimens for analysis
    2. 2.2. Specific sampling recommendations
    3. 2.2.1. Sample size
    4. 2.2.2. Killing and storage
    1. 3.1. Morphometry
    2. 3.1.1. Character suites
    3. Choice of character suite
    4. Wing venation pattern analysis
    5. Classical wing morphometry
    6. Geometric wing shape morphometry
    7. Classical wing angles, geometric wing analysis, and full body character suites
    8. 3.1.2. Preparation and measuring
    9. 3.1.3. Analysis and statistical methods
    10. Documenting and naming honey bee variation
    11. Sample identification
    12. 3.1.4. Reference data
    13. 3.2. Mitochondrial DNA
    14. 3.3. Nuclear markers
    15. 3.3.1. Allozymes
    16. Brief description of procedures
    17. Data analysis
    18. 3.3.2. DNA microsatellites
    19. Data analysis
    20. Problems and potential pitfalls with using microsatellites
    21. 3.3.3. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)