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Africanized Bees

Africanized Bees
Scott Nikaido and Ethel Villalobos (PEPS) just co-authored an article in the Journal of Apicultural Research on the “Detection of Africanized Bees in the Dominican Republic” as part of collaborative work between UH and officials from the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. As the abstract explains, the distribution of the Africanized honey bee (AHB) in the Caribbean region is “patchy”; some islands, such as Puerto Rico, have tested positive for AHB since the mid 1990s, while other regions, including the Dominican Republic and Haiti, appeared to be free of AHB. However, the authors have confirmed, through molecular testing of mitochondrial genetic material, that AHB is now present in managed colonies in the Dominican Republic. Results show that 39% of the colonies sampled displayed the African haplotype, and 73% of apiaries had at least one Africanized colony. Six out of the eight provinces surveyed (excluding Santo Domingo and Dajabón) tested positive for the presence of AHB colonies. The results indicate that currently AHB may be more prevalent in the northwest region of the country, though a more intensive survey is needed to confirm countrywide prevalence of the African genotype and to examine the situation in neighboring Haiti.
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