Honey bees are insects of great biological, ecological, and economic importance. They are the subject of a variety of scientific studies. As social insects, they are a preferred and widely used model for clarification of the evolution of social behavior. Because of the haplodiploidy as a mechanism for determining gender, differentiation in the functions of individuals in the bee family, and for its economic importance, Apis mellifera is a significant subject of research in the fields of ontogeny, population genetics, and selective breeding. The biological significance of bees is rooted in the fact that they are main pollinators in the natural environment. About 80% of the pollination of entomophilous plants is carried out by Apis mellifera. In all crops, active pollination significantly increases their yields. Honey bees are a valuable economic asset due to the ensemble of their products, which include honey, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and bee venom, used by humans for food and treatment. The main objective of this chapter was to describe the basic methods used for genotyping of Apis mellifera in Bulgaria. These techniques have been useful to produce a system of population criteria, and taxonomically important molecular markers are applicable in future activities related to the preservation and selection of the Bulgarian honey bee.
Part of the book: Genotyping