Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




Thrace and Yığılca honey bees, two important honey bee ecotypes in apicultural activity of Turkey, are the subject of genetic conservation effort. In this study, the genetic structure and diversity of honey bee populations from Thrace and Yığılca were investigated using 27 microsatellites. Except Kırklareli and Yığılca (Fst: 0.14), it was observed lower genetic divergence between the populations based on the value of pairwise Fst. Although Thrace populations (Edirne, Tekirdağ and Kırklareli) were not fully separated from each other, Yığılca population was significantly separated from Kırklareli and separated slightly from the rest of other populations. The calculated gene diversity of the populations ranged from 0.44 in Kırklareli to 0.56 in Edirne and Tekirdağ. Despite the high genetic diversity within the populations, the significant heterozygous deficiency found in Kırklareli may be due to repeated and controlled swarming of the selected colonies by beekeepers. These factors could have contributed the observed genotypic homogenization within Kırklareli honey bee population. Our results demonstrate that genetic differantiation of Thrace and Yığılca populations is still conserved, but gene flow is not prevented by the current management strategies, creating urgent demand for an improved conservation management of honey bee populations.


Apis mellifera L., honey bee, genetic diversity, microsatellites, Turkey

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