Morphometric variations and expression of body colour pattern of honeybee, Apis cerana F. in Kashmir
Shahnawaz Ahmad Dar and Sheikh Bilal Ahmad
The present investigation was conducted on morphometric variations and expression of body colour pattern of honeybee, Apis cerana from five different locations of Kashmir region viz; Pahalgam, Tral, Srinagar, Sonamarg and Bandipora at insect systematic laboratory, Division of Entomology, SKUAST Kashmir during 2011-2012. A. cerana F. collected from areas of mountainous zone (Pahalgam and Sonamarg) showed significant higher value of several morphological characters as compared to those found in sub mountainous zone (Srinagar and Bandipora).Similarly, the colour pattern of honeybees in Kashmir region showed a wide range of variation and this high variation reflects the ecological diversity from different locations. A. cerana F. collected from mountainous zones were darker in colour as compared to those found in sub-mountainous zones, which indicated that the colour pattern of A. cerana F. varies with the altitude. The results confirmed that the bees get darker at higher elevation. Thus morphometric and colour pattern variations found in A. cerana F. viz-a-viz altitudes could have a significant impact in future bee breeding programmes with respect to A. cerana F. in Kashmir.