Free access
Volume 22, Number 6, 1991
Evolution and genetics
Page(s) 591 - 609
Apidologie 22 (1991) 591-609
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19910603

Clinal geographic variation in feral honey bees in California, USA

H.V. Dalya, K. Hoelmerb and P. Gambinoc

a  University of California, Department of Entomological Sciences, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
b  Central Florida Research and Education Center, 2807 Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703, USA
c  Department of Agriculture, 635 Mua Street, Kahului, HI 96718, USA

Abstract - Feral honey bees in California are mongrel populations, partially differentiated in morphometrics from managed colonies as well as from European subspecies. Most morphometric variables had low but significant correlations with environmental factors and clinal patterns of spatial autocorrelation with distance. Some measurements of body size exhibited Bergmann's Rule, but the hind legs did not exhibit Allen's Rule. The geographic variation is presumably adaptive and has developed within 138 years in the presence of a large, mobile beekeeping industry. Colonies of small worker bees in the warmer and drier regions of the state may represent an ecotype adapted to desert conditions.

Key words: Apis mellifera / feral colony / morphometrics / geographic variation / Bergmann's Rule