Temporal genetic structure of a drone congregation area of the giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata)


The giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata), like all other members of the genus Apis, has a complex mating system in which the queens and males (drones) mate at spatially defined drone congregation areas (DCAs). Here, we studied the temporal genetic structure of a DCA of A. dorsata over an 8-day time window by the genotyping of sampled drones with microsatellite markers. Analysis of the genotypic data revealed a significant genetic differentiation between 3 sampling days and indicated that the DCA was used by at least two subpopulations at all days in varying proportions. The estimation of the number of colonies which used the DCA ranged between 20 and 40 colonies per subpopulation, depending on the estimation procedure and population. The overall effective population size was estimated as high as N e=140. The DCA seems to counteract known tendencies of A. dorsata for inbreeding within colony aggregations by facilitating gene flow among subpopulations and increasing the effective population size.

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Correspondence to F. B. Kraus.

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Kraus, F.B., Koeniger, N., Tingek, S. et al. Temporal genetic structure of a drone congregation area of the giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata). Naturwissenschaften 92, 578–581 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-005-0044-3

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  • Apis dorsata
  • Drone congregation area
  • Giant Asian honeybee
  • Microsatellite
  • Population structure