Morphometry... Sometimes Called Morphology
However, morphometry is the precise study of anatomical characters by measurement
and morphology is merely the study of form and structure.
The racial types and strains of honey bees have distinctive body characteristics
that can help to distinguish both type of bee and purity of breed. Of these two aspects the
one of greatest importance is purity of strain or more precisely the degree of
hybridisation (the lower the better). These methods are all of secondary importance to
'colony assessment' characteristics and should be used to refine partly selected strains
rather than as a direct descriptor of race. There is no point in propagating 'bad' or
undesirable behavioural traits regardless of how 'pure' the strain is.
Genotype and Phenotype are the two elements involved in this definition...
Phenotype... Is the observable physical description of the organism or
parts of the organism at multiple levels... The whole creature, it's external appearance
and internal organs, the cells and tissues of those organs along with form and structure of
these organs, the actions and metabolism of the organism as well as the behaviors
exhibited. This is the data we record to ascertain race or strain, but we rely on behaviour
first and use morphometric measurements as confirmation of our recordings as well as for
degree of purity of type and refining fine differences.
Genotype... This is the inheritable information, the genetic blueprint that
the living organism was assembled into using information coded in genes. Genes are found
within almost all cells in the form of DNA, they are copied during cell division and thus passed
down the generations (sometimes with mutations). DNA can be used to verify or check various
features found during morphometric and behavioural analysis and can be used to track
variations in a population over time or variations by region.
This page will be greatly expanded when time permits.