Colony development of two Carniolan genotypes (Apis mellifera carnica) in relation to environment

publication date: May 30, 2014
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 53 (2) pp. 261-268
May 2014
Article Title

Colony development of two Carniolan genotypes (Apis mellifera carnica) in relation to environment


Marica Maja Dražić, Janja Filipi, Saša Prđun, Dragan Bubalo, Marija Špehar, Denis Cvitković, Dubravko Kezić, Hermann Pechhacker and Nikola Kezić


The objective of this study was to compare the colony development cycle (unsealed and sealed worker brood, drone brood, pollen and colony strength) of two Apis mellifera carnica subpopulations in two distinct environments (alpine and continental). At each test location were two sub groups of 12 colonies headed by naturally mated sister queens from either the Institute of Apiculture Lunz am See, Austria (AT) or from the Faculty of Agriculture University of Zagreb, Croatia (HR). Colony development was monitored every 14 days. The HR genotype, adapted to a continental climate, had faster spring brood development in both environments. During spring and early summer the AT genotype maintained the number of sealed brood cells at a constant level in the more favourable conditions, although the amount of unsealed brood reached its maximum in early June. The environment influenced colony development, food stores and colony strength. Interaction between genotype and environment did not affect the number of unsealed brood cells, but the difference was statistically significant for the number of sealed brood cells. The study indicated the presence of a number of genotype and environment interactions between the two honey bee genotypes and their colony traits.


Apis mellifera carnica, genotype x environment interactions, colony development, local adaptation

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