Apis mellifera ligustica and A. cerana cerana exhibit differences in olfactory sensitivity to odors from nectariferous plants and diseased broods. It is presumed that the differences in odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) between these 2 species contribute to their olfactory sensitivity. We compared the sequences, temporal expression pattern, and binding properties of the 2 OBP-encoding genes. We cloned the Amobp5 and Acobp5 genes.
Apis mellifera ligustica
African honey bees, introduced to Brazil in 1956, rapidly dominated the previously introduced European subspecies. To better understand how hybridization between these different types of bees proceeded, we made geometric morphometric analyses of the wing venation patterns of specimens resulting from crosses made between Africanized honey bees (predominantly Apis mellifera scutellata) and Italian honey bees (A. mellifera ligustica) from 1965 to 1967, at the beginning of the Africanization process, in an apiary about 150 km from the original introduction site.
In Europe and North America honey bees cannot be kept without chemical treatments against Varroa destructor. Nevertheless, in Brazil an isolated population of Italian honey bees has been kept on an island since 1984 without treatment against this mite. The infestation rates in these colonies have decreased over the years. We looked for possible varroa-tolerance factors in six Italian honey bee colonies prepared with queens from this Brazilian island population, compared to six Carniolan colonies, both tested at the same site in Germany.