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Research Update: Anatolian & Arabian Honey Bees

The UF/IFAS Honey Bee Laboratory has collaborated on research that led to two 2020 publications on different honey bee subspecies. Below are summaries of the research and links to the full publications.

Apis mellifera anatoliaca – the Anatolian honey beeA.m. anatoliaca

Key Finding:

  1. The research team showed that the Anatolian honey bee, Apis mellifera anatoliaca, is closely related to two other honey bee subspecies found in Turkey: A. m. caucasica, the Caucasian honey bee, and A. m. meda, a honey bee found in Iran.

Significance: The Anatolian honey bee is distributed throughout Turkey and used by Turkish beekeepers. These findings provide valuable information for genetic studies and can be used to find relationships between different subspecies of honey bees throughout the world.

For more details, read the publication here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23802359.2020.1751737

Boardman, L., Kimball, R.T., Braun, E.L., Fuchs, S., Grünewald, B., Ellis, J.D. 2020. Mitochondrial genome of Apis mellifera anatoliaca (Hymenoptera: Apidae) - the Anatolian honey bee. Mitochondrial DNA Part B: Resources, 5(2): 1876-1877. https://doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2020.1751737.

Apis mellifera jemenitica – the Arabian honey beeA.m. jemenitica

Key Finding:

  1. The Arabian honey bee was found to be closely related to two different honey bee subspecies, A. m. lamarckii, the Egyptian honey bee,and A. m. syriaca, the Syrian honey bee.

Significance: The Arabian honey bee is unique in that it is the only subspecies to be distributed in both Africa and Asia. Before this research was conducted, the Arabian honey bee was not previously assigned to a specific lineage of Apis mellifera. These findings provide valuable information for genetic studies and can be used to find relationships between different subspecies of honey bee.

For more details, read the publication here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23802359.2020.1717383

Boardman, L., Eimanifar, A., Kimball, R.T., Braun, E.L., Fuchs, S., Grünewald, B., Ellis, J.D. 2020. The complete mitochondrial genome of Apis mellifera jemenitica (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae), the Arabian honey bee. Mitochondrial DNA Part B: Resources, 5(1): 875-876. https://doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2020.1717383.

This blog was written by UF HBREL graduate student, Brynn Johnson