Studies Of The Distribution And Some Behaviour Aspects Of African Honeybees In Kenya
Beekeeping in Kenya is an old enterprise practised by several tribes. Traditional beekeepers kept honeybees in log hives or hunted for honey from hollows in rocks and tree trunks hence producing low quality honey which could not earn the beekeeper an attractive income. The Kenya government realising the importance of the industry set up a beekeeping section to improve its economic importance by studying the honeybee biology and management techniques. The present work was designed to study the types or races of honeybees prevailing in Kenya and their defensive and foraging activities so as to form a basis for future breeding work. Samples were collected from allover the country. Ten bees were randomly picked from each sample and ten morphological characteristics, the lengths of the proboscis and femur, colour, width and distance of wax mirrors of the third abdominal tergite; width and wing venation angles of the forewing and the cubital and tomentum indeces, were measured. The results revealed that some the above characteristics showed significant differences from one region to the next and varied with altitude, temperature and vegetation. The proboscis length, the colour, tomentum index and wing width showed the largest variations and were thought most adaptive and from their values, four geographical varieties of honeybees could be separated.