Morphological diversity and racial determination of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) population in the Republic of Macedonia
Aleksandar Uzunov, Hrisula Kiprijanovska, Sreten Andonov, Mirce Naumovski and Aleš Gregorc
Worker honey bee samples were collected from six different locations spread throughout the Republic of Macedonia. Morphometric analyses were performed on the front right wing venation of workers (n=1800) and measurements were obtained for a total of 21 characteristics. The bees were examined according to the apiaries from which they originated (n=6) and in equal groups (n=300). Our aim was to determine the diversity of the sampled workers, as well as to examine the relationship with other honey bee races. The racial relationship of the total sample of analysed bees expressed in percentages were: Apis mellifera macedonica: 15.87%; Apis mellifera ligustica: 12.70%; Apis mellifera carnica: 10.32%; Apis mellifera caucasica: 4.76%; Apis mellifera mellifera: 4.76%. The variability in honey bee populations found thus provides a suitable basis for the selection of large number of subpopulations with desired biological or production characteristics for introducing a National Bee Breeding Programme in the Republic of Macedonia.