Colony characteristics and the performance of Caucasian (Apis mellifera caucasica) and Mugla (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) bees and their reciprocal crosses

Akyol E., Kaftanoglu O.

JOURNAL OF APICULTURAL RESEARCH, vol.40, pp.11-15, 2001 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Page Numbers: pp.11-15


There are seven climatic regions and several honey bee (Apis mellifera) races and ecotypes adapted to these regions in Turkey. The most common and popular bee races are the Caucasian bees (A. m. caucasica), native to northeastern Anatolia, and the Mugla bees (A. m. anatoliaca), native to south-western Anatolia. Both races have desirable characteristics and they are widely used by beekeepers all over the country. We tested the colony characteristics of Caucasian (C x C) and Mugla (M x M) bees and their crosses (C X M) and (M x C) under migratory beekeeping conditions to combine the desirable characteristics of both races and increase honey yield. All the experimental queens were instrumentally inseminated and introduced into five-frame colonies in the spring of 1996. Colonies headed by Mugla queens produced significantly more honey than Caucasians, and M x C crosses produced significantly more honey than other genotypes. Brood production was significantly higher in M X M and M x C colonies. The C x C were the most gentle and the M x C crosses were the most aggressive genotypes. The study shows that honey yield and brood production can be increased significantly with selection and controlled mating.