Free access
Volume 25, Number 2, 1994
F. Ruttner 80th birthday
Page(s) 188 - 202
Apidologie 25 (1994) 188-202
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19940207

Morphological and allozyme variability in honey bees from Kenya

M.D. Meixnera, W.S. Sheppardb, A. Dietzc and R. Krelld

a  Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), JW Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 61440 Oberursel, Germany
b  USDA-ARS, Bee Research Laboratory, Bldg 476, BARC-E, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
c  Dept of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
d  Istituto Sperimentale per La Zoologia Agraria, Sezione di Apicoltura, Via Leonida Rech 36, 00156 Rome, Italy

Abstract - 43 samples of honey bees from three different regions in Kenya were analyzed morphometrically and surveyed for electrophoretic variation at five enzyme loci (malate dehydrogenase, phosphoglucomutase, malic enzyme, esterase and hexokinase). Discriminant analysis of the morphometrical measurements classified most samples from above 2000 m as Apis mellifera monticola and samples from below as A m scutellata. Some samples collected in the Ngong region (2000 m) had intermediate positions in this analysis. All enzyme loci in the study were polymorphic, with Est and HK showing the highest degree of polymorphism. For ME, PGM and Est, new alleles are reported. A homogeneity Chi2 test showed significant heterogeneity between members of the two subspecies. Analysis of the allozyme data by a Distance Wagner procedure resulted in two main clusters, consisting of A m monticola from Mt Elgon and Mt Kenya in one and all other populations in a second cluster. Savanna and mountain bees from Ngong formed a separate subcluster. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that the disjunct A m monticola populations are descendants of a common ancestor now restricted to mountain refugia.

Key words: Apis mellifera monticola / Apis mellifera scutellata / allozymes / morphometry / Kenya