Action Synopsis: Bee Conservation About Actions

Keep pure breeding populations of native honey bee subspecies

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Key messages

One replicated trial in Switzerland found that pure breeding populations of the European black honey bee Apis mellifera mellifera contained a significant proportion (28%) of hybrids with an introduced subspecies Apis mellifera carnica.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. One replicated trial estimated the degree of hybridisation in six 'pure breeding' populations of the native black honey bee Apis mellifera mellifera, kept by beekeepers in eastern Switzerland (Soland-Reckeweg et al. 2009). The introduced southeastern European subspecies A. m. carnica also thrives in this area. The study, based on nine honey bee genetic markers (microsatellites) and a sample of 100 black honey bee workers (a single worker from each of 100 colonies), found that 28% of the sampled bees were hybrids. In the same area, 17% of workers sampled from pure breeding populations of the introduced subspecies A. m. carnica were also hybrids. These findings suggest that conservation management strategies for the black honey bee need improvement, perhaps by bee breeders using genetic testing rather than conventional appearance to identify hybrids.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Dicks, L.V., Showler, D.A. & Sutherland, W.J. (2010) Bee conservation: evidence for the effects of interventions. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter, UK


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Bee Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bee Conservation
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