Biogeography and Taxonomy of Honeybees

  • Friedrich Ruttner

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Honeybees of the World

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 3-12
    3. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 13-19
    4. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 20-36
    5. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 37-56
    6. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 57-65
    7. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 66-78
    8. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 79-102
    9. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 103-119
    10. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 120-161
  3. The Western Honeybee Apis mellifera L. Classification and Natural History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 176-198
    3. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 199-227
    4. Friedrich Ruttner
      Pages 228-239
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 259-284

About this book


Honeybees are as small as flies or as large as hornets, nesting in nar­ row cavities of trees and rocks or in the open on large limbs of trees 30 m above ground. They occur in tropical zones and in the forests of the Ural mountains, they survive seven months of winter and even longer periods of drought and heat. Historically, they lived through a extended time of stagnation in the tropics from the mid-Tertiary, but then experienced an explosive evolution during the Pleistocene, re­ sulting in the conquest of huge new territories and the origin of two dozen subspecies in Apis mellifera. This vast geographic and ecologic diversification of the genus Apis was accompanied by a rich morphological variation, less on the level of species than at the lowest rank, the subspecies level. Variation being exclusively of a quantitative kind at this first step of speciation, tradi­ tional descriptive methods of systematics proved to be unsatisfactory, and honeybee taxonomy finally ended up in a confusing multitude of inadequately described units. Effective methods of morphometric-sta­ tistical analysis of honeybee popUlations, centered on limited areas, have been developed during the last decades. Only the numerical characterization of the populations, together with the description of behavior, shows the true geographic variability and will end current generalizations and convenient stereotypes.


adaptation biogeography classification development distribution ecology ecosystem evolution taxonomy

Authors and affiliations

  • Friedrich Ruttner
    • 1
  1. 1.Lunz am SeeAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-72651-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-72649-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site