Morphological variability of Apis mellifera iberica in different apiaries of southern Spain
F J Orantes-Bermejo; P García-Fernández
Seven morphometric characters were measured in bees (Apis mellitera iberica) sampled from 12 locations in the south of the Iberian peninsula. A discriminant analysis showed that there were three distinct biometric groups which corresponded to the following geographical areas. Group 1: area of influence of the Guadalquivir valley (localities of Dos Hermanas, Hornachuelos, Lepe, Trassierra and Castellar de la Frontera), along with the localities of Cáceres, Murcia and Vadillo; Group 2: area of Sierra Nevada and bordering areas (localities of Lanjarón, Pinos del Valle and Berja); Group 3: Mediterranean seaboard, along with the locality of Maro; 92.15% of the bees sampled were correctly assigned to their geographical locations. Groups 1 and 2 were very similar to each other, while the third differed considerably from both, displaying a very low cubital index. The variable with greatest discriminatory potential was the length of hairs on the fifth abdominal tergite. The origin of these populations and possible affinities between groups and their relationship to migratory beekeeping routes are discussed.