Free Access
Volume 22, Number 1, 1991
Page(s) 75 - 80
Apidologie 22 (1991) 75-80
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19910109

Morphologischer Vergleich von Völkern der "Landbiene" in Niedersachsen mit typischer Apis mellifera carnica und Apis mellifera mellifera

N. Reinscha, H. Schustera, K. Bienefeldb and F. Pirchnera

a  Institut für Tierzucht, TU München-Weihenstephan D-8050 Freising, Deutschland
b  Institut für Bienenkunde, (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Fachbereich Biologie der JW Goethe-Universität, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, D-6370 Oberursel, Deutschland

Abstract - Morphological comparison of colonies of the local bee in Lower Saxony with typical A m carnica and A m mellifera
The current "Landrasse" (the common honeybee) of Apis mellifera in Lower Saxony (Germany) is a product of = 40 yr of upgrading A m mellifera with A m carnica. The object of this study was to make a comparison by morphometric analysis of "Landrasse" colonies with typical colonies of A m mellifera and A m carnica. A sample of 4 853 bees from 99 colonies was taken in Lower Saxony during April 1988. Thirty-three apiaries contributed 3 colonies per apiary. Five measurements were taken from each colony: - average of cubital index (MCI); - proportion of bees with cubital index < 2.0 (VB1) - proportion of bees with cubital index between 1.86-2.33 (VB2); - average length of hair on tergite 4 (RHL); - average width of tomentum on the side of tergite 4. The last 2 measurements were coded as 1,2 and 3 (for single bees), corresponding to the classes low, medium and high (Ruttner, 1988a). The means for the colonies were computed from these codes. Data from 10 typical colonies of A m carnica and 9 typical colonies of A m mellifera were obtained from the morphometric bee data bank in Oberursel. The averages for each group and trait are given in table I. A comparison of the colonies from Lower Saxony with the standard for A m carnica, which is based on the work of Ruttner (1969) and used by the German Beekeeper's Association (Deutscher Imkerbund), resulted in a classification of all 99 colonies as "not carnica". The graph in figure 1 was obtained by principal component analysis of all 118 colonies. The well-separated cluster on the right contains only colonies of A m mellifera (M); the larger cluster on the left contains both A m carnica (C) and "Landrasse" (X). The "Landrasse" is positioned between the extremes due to its crossbreeding character. Table II contains the coefficients for the 2 factors with eigenvalues > 1 (Varimax-rotated). After discriminant analysis, 10 "Landrasse" colonies were classified as A m carnica (table III). Mahalanobis-distances between groups are shown in table IV (quadratic and linear). In conclusion, it can be stated that the "Landrasse" is much more influenced by A m carnica than by A m mellifera in spite of clear crossbreeding characteristics such as long hair, showing the gene contribution of the native population.

Key words: Apis mellifera carnica / Apis mellifera mellifera / morphometrics / upgrading