During emergency queen rearing, worker honey bees Apis mellifera select several otherwise worker-destined larvae to instead rear as candidates to replace their dead or failing queen. This choice is crucial as the queen is the sole reproductive in the colony and her quality is essential to its success. Because honey bee queens mate with and store sperm from multiple drones, emergency queen selection presents workers with an opportunity to increase fitness by selecting full- 0. These results alter our understanding of reproductive behavior in honey bees, raising questions about the evolutionary implications of this phenomenon. The fundamental problem in the evolution of social behavior, recognized since Darwin, is that group functioning is predicated on cooperation, with individuals often incurring personal fitness costs to assist their groupmates [ 1 ]. This is perhaps best illustrated in the eusocial insects, where the vast majority of individuals within a colony often forgo individual reproduction to instead rear the offspring of one or a few queens. Though defined by cooperation, the evolution of this reproductive division of labor is actually driven by multiple, and often opposing, forces of selection [ 4 , 5 ] and may result in conflict between worker and reproductive castes [ 6 ].
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View research View latest news Sign up for updates. Wenner and various collaborators argued that bees locate foods solely by odors. Although the dispute had largely run its course by — von Frisch was awarded a Nobel Prize, while Wenner withdrew from active bee research — it offers us a rare window into mid-twentieth century discussions about animals, language, and cognition. Wenner, by contrast, was trained in mathematics and statistics and the Schneirla school of behavior. Instead, I show that practitioners, whose agendas ranged from the nascent fields of sociobiology to cognitive ethology, took up the cause of the communicating bees. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Rent this article via DeepDyve. Von Frisch, Karl. Personal Papers. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich.
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Ahead of the day on August 18, Jo Lamiri finds the new buzz around bees. Given that bees pollinate around one-third of food crops and 90 per cent of wild plants, which in turn provide food for livestock, the implications of this ecological disaster are alarming for biodiversity, the food chain and, ultimately, our ability to feed ourselves. So, why the decline? There are a hive of factors, not least habitat loss, climate change recent research shows that pollinating insects are particularly sensitive to factors that upset their biological balance , intensive farming methods and colony collapse disorder CCD. In April this year, the EU agreed to ban outdoor use but not in greenhouses of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin — a move welcomed by global campaign group Avaaz, which gained almost 5 million signatures on a petition. But despite this gloomy outlook, avid apiarists, entrepreneurs and honey producers are doing their bit. Passionate about halting the decline of British native bees, he works with big brands, encouraging them to sponsor a hive, learn beekeeping and sell their honey, and is crowdfunding to sponsor hives over the next five years to breed British native bees. The robots — available by subscription — are so precise that pesticide use is reduced by up to 95 per cent, allowing farmers to leave field margins, meadows and hedgerows free for wild flowers and, therefore, bees to thrive. In , there were just , hives in the UK, compared with nearly a million in , but it the outlook is getting sweeter — and there are many local organisations to help you avoid swarms and stings.