Hybridization Between European and Africanized Honey Bees in the Neotropical Yucatan Peninsula

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Science  19 Jul 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5017, pp. 309-311
DOI: 10.1126/science.253.5017.309


A population genetic analysis of honey bees of the Mexican neotropical Yucatan peninsula shows that the range expansion of Africanized bees there has involved extensive introgressive hybridization with European bees. Yucatan honey bee populations now include many colonies with intermediate morphologies. Genotypes of mitochondria have disassociated from historically correlated Africanized or European morphology, producing diverse phenotypic associations. This suggests that the size of resident European populations may be important in explaining previously reported asymmetrical hybridization. Evidence of natural hybridization is encouraging for the use of genetic management to mitigate the effects of Africanized bees in the United States.

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