Temporal Analysis of the Genetic Diversity in a Honey Bee Mating Area of an Island Population (La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain)

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Temporal Analysis of the Genetic Diversity in a Honey Bee Mating Area of an Island Population (La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain)

A law to conserve the honey bee population on La Palma (Canary Islands) was stated in 2001. The introduction of foreign subspecies was prohibited. A natural mating area for local queens was established at the northeast section of the island. To evaluate the genetic diversity of the honey bee colonies located in this area, analyses of the mitochondrial (tRNAleu-cox2 intergenic region) and nuclear (five microsatellite loci) variation were performed by comparing two surveys conducted in 1998 and 2006 (i.e., before and after the conservation program started in 2001). While mitochondrial variability changed significantly in this area over the period analyzed, such differences were not observed at the nuclear level. These data may have implications relating to the control of selected colonies included in the conservation program. This is particularly true regarding the introduction of the colonies to other islands of the archipelago.

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