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Volume 34, Number 3, May-June 2003
Page(s) 217 - 225
Apidologie 34 (2003) 217-225
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2003010

Hybridization between European and African-derived honeybee populations (Apis mellifera) at different altitudes in Perú

J. Javier G. Quezada-Euána, Eleazar E. Pérez-Castrob and William de J. May-Itzáa

a  Departamento de Apicultura - Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia-Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Apdo. postal 4-116 Mérida, Yucatán, 97100, Mexico
b  Facultad de Zootecnia-Universidad Nacional del Centro del Perú, Real 160, Huancayo, Peru

(Received 25 February 2002; revised 25 July 2002; accepted 24 September 2002)

The current status of admixture between Apis mellifera of African and European origin was studied in populations from different altitudinal regions of Perú. Worker bees from 7 altitudinal regions were analysed by morphometrics and mtDNA RFLPs. Our results showed that the rates of admixture between African-derived and resident European populations have depended on the altitude of the region. Our finding of hybrid colonies at elevations above 2 500 m supports the hypothesis that climate alone may not restrain the northern limit of the distribution of African-derived honeybees in the Americas. We conclude that introgressive hybridization between African and European derived honeybees best explains the current patterns of distribution of morphotypes and mitotypes across the different regions of Peru.

Key words: Africanization / hybridization / Apis mellifera / mtDNA / morphometrics / Peru

Correspondence and reprints: J. Javier G. Quezada-Euán

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2003