Morphometric characterization of Iranian (Apis mellifera meda), Central Anatolian (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) and Caucasian (Apis mellifera caucasica) honey bee populations.
M Bagher Farshineh Adl,H Vasfi Gençer, Çetin Firatli and Rasoul Bahreini
Morphological characters of Apis mellifera meda sampled from Urmia, Tehran and Tabriz in Iran, Apis mellifera anatoliaca from Kirsehir and Beypazari in Central Anatolia, and Apis mellifera caucasica from Posof in Northeast Anatolia were analysed using standard morphometric methods. Sixteen morphometric measurements were made on 20 worker bees each from 5 colonies from 6 localities in Iran and Turkey. Univariate analysis showed that significant differences for all characters were found among honey bee samples from 6 localities (P < 0.05). The honey bees from Iran (Urmia, Tehran and Tabriz) were significantly smaller than the Caucasian honey bee from Posof and Central Anatolian honey bees from Kirsehir and Beypazari in most of the size characters. The Caucasian honey bee from Posof had the highest values in the hair length on tergite 5, forewing length, forewing width and hind leg length which separate it from all other groups. Discriminant analysis showed that the Iranian, Central Anatolian and Caucasian honey bee populations constituted distinct clusters. Discriminant analysis correctly classified 66.7 % of the samples to their actual localities. Iranian honey bee samples from 3 different localities appear not to be entirely distinct sub-populations. The samples from Urmia, Tehran and Tabriz overlapped to a large extent, while the samples from Kirsehir, Beypazari and Posof formed apparent non overlapping clusters. Mahalanobis distances confirmed that Caucasian bees were closer to Central Anatolian bees than to Iranian bees for treating bees orally if dose is carefully managed in the hive.