Evaluation of the biodiversity of honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations from eastern Spain
Pilar De la Rua, Yolanda Jimenez, Jose Galian and Jose Serrano
The mitochondrial DNA of 260 honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies located in eastern Spain was characterized through the RFLP analysis of the intergenic tRNAleu-COII region. In total, 16 different mitochondrial haplotypes were found, eight of which belong to the African evolutionary lineage and eight to the west European. The results indicate a high level of genetic diversity in this region. The haplotype frequency is congruent with a north-east-south-west gradient extending across the whole Iberian peninsula. Several beekeeping techniques (transhumance movements, purchase of queens and colonies) and recent laws about colony location are discussed in relation to the biodiversity of this honey bee population.