Genetic structure – geography relations of honeybee subspecies in Turkey: a survey and a test of niche overlap

Subspecies or “geographic races” of honeybees (Apis mellifera) differ in morphology, biogeography and behavior and appear to have diversified following reproductive isolation during the Pleistocene glaciation. Habitat-specific features such as daily temperature, abundance and phenology of nectar flow, length and severity of winter, or predator pressure are expected to influence morphology, foraging strategy, honey storage, production of young, overwintering success, swarming behavior or aggression in different races. We surveyed potentially adaptive behavioral traits for each genetic component identified by microsatellite-based STRUCTURE analysis, and explored relations with climatic conditions prevalent where those components are geographically concentrated. We used ecological niche modeling by MAXENT to estimate distributional ranges and identify possible climatic drivers of adaptation for four subspecies and one ecotype. Niche modeling produced ranges for each subspecies/ecotype that roughly correspond with particular ecoregions in Turkey. A comparison of niches, predicted ecological divergence between honeybee subspecies. Hybridization between C and O lineages where niche models overlapped was confirmed with genetic evidence. No models produced were found to be covering the range of another O-lineage subspecies in Eastern Anatolia not included in this study. Relationship between an ecotype in Aegean coast and a scale insect (Marchalina hellenica) of East Mediterranean Pine (Pinus brutia) that provides an annual cycle of resource availability impact on life history of that ecotype was also concordant with its distribution models and observed distribution of both the pine and the scale insect. We discuss adaptive values of the traits of honeybees and suggest hypotheses to test these associations at the genome level.
Puerto Rico Honey Bee and Evolution of Invasive Organisms on Islands (2019)


Adaptive traits of Turkish honeybee subspecies in response to climate A survey and a test of niche overlap
Kükrer, Mert; Bilgin, Cemal Can (null; 2016-09-01)
A Survey of Niche Overlap and Adaptive Trait Responses of Turkish Honeybee Subspecies to Climate
Kükrer, Mert; Bilgin, Cemal Can; Turak, Ayşe (2016-11-05)
Introduction: Over 24 subspecies or “geographic races” of honeybees in the world appear to have diversified following isolation during the Pleistocene glaciations. Research on their differences in morphology, biogeography, behavior and genetics suggest that Turkish races belong mostly to the same lineage, but evolved in extremely different habitats. Foraging strategies, honey storage, production of young, overwintering success, swarming behavior or aggression show differences between races. Such traits migh...
Genetic diversity of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.: Hymenoptera: Apidae) populations in Turkey revealed by RAPD markers
TUNCA, RAHŞAN İVGİN; Kence, Meral (2011-12-05)
The honeybee, Apis mellifera L. is an ecologically and economically important insect species. Recent honey bee losses causing decline of bee diversity is found alarming for the pollination of both wild plant biodiversity and crop production. Therefore, determination of genetic diversity of honey bee populations is essential and will provide a valuable resource for conservation purposes. Twenty Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers were used to assess the genetic diversity in 720 worker bees collec...
Genetic impact of anthropogenic factors on honey bee diversity in Turkey
Kükrer, Mert; Kence, Aykut (null; 2015-08-07)
Intense admixture of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations is mostly attributed to migratory beekeeping practices and replacement of queens or colonies with non-native races or hybrids of different subspecies. These two practices are also heavily carried out in Turkey. Here, we carried out an analysis of population structure of Turkish honeybees sampled from six different regions (n = 250) in order to test the genetic impacts of migratory beekeeping, colony trade and isolated regions. A total of 29 micr...
Genetic diversity of gazelles (gazella marica and gazella gazella) in Southeast Turkey: with a special emphasis on ongoing conservation studies of gazella marica in Turkey
Saatoğlu, Dilan; Togan, İnci Zehra; Department of Biology (2015)
The present study was conducted to confirm the recently suggested taxonomic status of gazelles in Turkey and also to investigate genetic diversity that exists between and within populations of Gazella marica (One from Kızılkuyu State Farm, Şanlıurfa, n=48; one from Erikçe State Farm, Gaziantep, n=25) and Gazella gazella (population from Kırıkhan County, Hatay, n=4). In the frame of the study, partial mtDNA cyt-b sequence (amplified by the primers: L14724, H15149), 17 microsatellite loci (RT1, ETH10, OARFCB3...
Citation Formats
M. Kükrer, A. Turak, and C. C. Bilgin, “Genetic structure – geography relations of honeybee subspecies in Turkey: a survey and a test of niche overlap,” presented at the Puerto Rico Honey Bee and Evolution of Invasive Organisms on Islands (2019), San-Juan, Porto Riko, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: