Identification of Africanized honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) incorporating morphometrics and an improved polymerase chain reaction mitotyping procedure

David I. Nielsen, Paul R. Ebert, Greg J. Hunt, Ernesto Guzmán-Novoa, Scott A. Kinnee, Robert Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose an Africanized honey bee identification strategy using morphometrics and an improved polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based mitotyping procedure that distinguishes between feral and commercial bees maternally descendent from 4 racial groups-Eastern European (Apis mellifera ligustica, caucasica, and carnica), Western European (A. m. mellifera), Egyptian (A. m. lamarckii), and other African origins. Mitochondrial genotype is highly correlated with morphology. Ninety-five percent of morphometrically determined Africanized feral colonies collected in Texas, Arizona, California, and Mexico also contained African mitochondria. Sixty-two percent of colonies from commercial or minimally managed apiaries in Mexico and Central America, with Africanized forewing lengths and 17% of colonies with intermediate forewing lengths, had African mitochondria. The strong correlation between non-European morphology and African mitotype, as well as the speed and accuracy of mitotype determination, suggest a 3-step Africanized bee identification procedure. This identification procedure first examines forewing length. Bees with lengths above a given threshold (9.12 mm) have a very high probability of being pure European in origin and are not examined further. Those bees with wing lengths below the threshold are subjected to mitochondrial analysis (mitotyping). Samples having African mitochondria are not examined further. Those bees with small forewing lengths, but European mitotypes, are then identified using detailed morphometric discriminant function analysis. By performing these steps in sequence, the number of bees requiring full morphometric analysis is reduced, saving time and improving the accuracy of Africanized honey bee identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Volume92
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Africanized honey bees
Apidae
Apoidea
Hymenoptera
polymerase chain reaction
mitochondria
Apis mellifera ligustica
Mexico
apiaries
Central America
discriminant analysis
genotype

Keywords

  • Africanized honey bees
  • Apis mellifera scutellata
  • Mitochondrial genotype
  • Morphometrics
  • Race identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

Cite this

Identification of Africanized honey bees (Hymenoptera : Apidae) incorporating morphometrics and an improved polymerase chain reaction mitotyping procedure. / Nielsen, David I.; Ebert, Paul R.; Hunt, Greg J.; Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto; Kinnee, Scott A.; Page, Robert.

In: Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Vol. 92, No. 2, 03.1999, p. 167-174.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nielsen, David I. ; Ebert, Paul R. ; Hunt, Greg J. ; Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto ; Kinnee, Scott A. ; Page, Robert. / Identification of Africanized honey bees (Hymenoptera : Apidae) incorporating morphometrics and an improved polymerase chain reaction mitotyping procedure. In: Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 1999 ; Vol. 92, No. 2. pp. 167-174.
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