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Volume 34, Number 4, July-August 2003
Page(s) 339 - 351
Apidologie 34 (2003) 339-351
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2003034

Quantitative analysis of intracolonial and intercolonial morphometric variance in honeybees, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana

Sarah E. Radloffa, Randall Hepburnb and Lindsey J. Bangaya

a  Department of Statistics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
b  Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa

(Received 18 March 2002; revised 25 November 2002; accepted 6 December 2002)

Systematic analyses were used to test the significance of colony and individual bee sample sizes to studies of honeybee populations from six geographically distant and distinct populations of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. All possible combinations of sampling k colonies from a total number of n colonies at each locality were generated. The effects of colony sample size and individual sample size per colony on the variation in the mean values of nine morphological characters are shown (1) separately and (2) together. The percentage increase or decrease of the maximum and minimum mean values from the estimated population means are calculated for all possible combinations of k colonies sampled from the total number of n colonies at each locality. Samples of 5 or 6 colonies with 10 bees per colony per locality are shown to be adequate for characters related to size and wing venation and adequate for pigmentation characters only when the bees are homogeneous in colour.

Key words: colony sample size / individual bee sample size / intercolonial and intracolonial variability / morphometric character / Apis mellifera / Apis cerana

Correspondence and reprints: Sarah E. Radloff

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2003