Do morphometrics allozymes reliably distinguish Africanized and European Apis mellifera drones in subtropical Mexico?
W DE J May-Itzá; J J G Quezada-Euán; L Iuit; C M Echazarreta
Drones reared in colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera) of European (EHB) and Africanized(AHB) origin were characterized using morphometrics and allozyme analyses. 17 charactersof the forewing were compared at the univariateand multivariate level using principal component analysis (PCA). Additionally, Mdh and Hk allozyme frequencies were compared between both drone types. Only 5 forewing characters were statistically different between the two drone types and PCA failed to separate clearly AHB from EHB drones. The Hk allele 1 was more frequent in EHB drones compared with AHB (P < 0.01). However, the frequencies of the Mdh1 allele in EHB drones from Yucatan was intermediate between AHB and EHB drones from an Africanized-free zone (P <0.01). These results suggest that, for Yucatecan populations, Hk is more informative concerning the African or European origin of drones than Mdh. Evidence of undetected levels of africanization with morphometrics alone and the non-neutrality and high within-population variation of the Mdh loci make the use of these techniques questionable as a diagnostic of africanization in drones from the Yucatan. The use of Hk in combination with mitochondrial and/or nuclear DNA markers would be of more value to analyse the dynamics of male production, seasonal abundance and male releases in drone congregation areas in Yucatan.