Étude biométrique de populations d'abeilles tunisiennesK. Grissaa, J.M. Cornuetb, K. Msaddaa and J. Fresnayeb
a Institut National Agronomique de Tunis, laboratoire de zoologie et d'apidologie, 43, avenue Charles-Nicolle, Tunis, Tunisie
b INRA, station de zoologie et d'apidologie, 84140 Montfavet, France
Abstract - Biometrical study of honey bee populations from Tunisia
A total of 110 honey bee colonies were sampled around Tunis (fig 1). For every sampled colony, 24 workers were measured according to Fresnaye (1981) for the 6 following characters: width of the yellow strip on tergite 2, length of hairs on tergite 5, width of tomentum on tergite 4, length of proboscis and wing veins A and B of the cubital index. Histograms (fig 4) as well as factorial discriminant analysis show that the whole population is rather homogeneous for the 6 studied characters without any regional differentiation. This population is included in the reference Apis mellifera intermissa sample and there is no detectable genetic influence from the races that have been imported into Tunisia. The lack of genetic differentiation can be explained by the lack of natural barriers in the country, the intense swarming behaviour of tellian bees and the rather frequent moving of hives by beekeepers. It is probable that the races imported from Europe not adapted to the ecological conditions of Tunisia have been eliminated by the better adapted, highly swarming intermissa honey bees.
Key words: Apis mellifera intermissa / population genetics / biometry / Tunisia