HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Why do some queen bees eat their worker bee's eggs?

Worker bees, wasps, and ants are often considered neuter. But in many species they are females with ovaries, who although unable to mate, can lay unfertilized eggs which turn into males if reared. For some species, such as bumble bees, this is the source of many of the males in the species. But in others, like the honeybee, workers "police" each other killing eggs laid by workers or confronting egg-laying workers.

In 1964 the English biologist William Hamilton put forward his "relatedness hypothesis", a major landmark in kin selection theory. His hypothesis was that worker bees, wasps and ants do not reproduce because most workers are half sisters. Instead the workers favor the queen's male progeny, since she has mated with multiple males, ensuring variation in the species. According to this theory, a species where the mother queen mates with multiple males would have more worker policing. This theory is widespread and in animal behavior textbooks.

However, Hamilton's relatedness hypothesis was challenged in 2004 by researchers from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. They compared 50 species and found no evidence that multiple mating by the queen correlated with reduced rearing of workers' sons or greater worker reproductive policing. Were the textbooks wrong"

A new study appearing in the current issue of The American Naturalist strongly supports Hamilton's original theory. Tom Wenseleers and Francis Ratnieks (University of Sheffield) compared 90 species and found that workers' sons are reared 100 times less in species with a queen mated to multiple males. They also found worker policing by the queen, with the queen eating working-laid eggs, in all species with multiple-mated queens, but in only 20 percent with single-mated queens.

"It seems that the textbooks do not need rewriting," write the authors. "Kin selection theory is important when studying relatedness in social behavior. Social insects, with their great
'"/>

Contact: Suzanne Wu
swu@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
4-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Wood ant queen has no egg-laying monopoly
2. The bee that would be queen
3. Researchers at Illinois explore queen bee longevity
4. Sexual cooperation: Mating increases longevity in ant queens
5. ESF EURYI award winner aims to stop cancer cells reading their own DNA
6. How cells change the pace of their steps
7. Unlocking proteins from their cellular shell
8. Cells take risks with their identities
9. Birds take cues from their competitors
10. St. Jude study shows genes play an unexpected role in their own activation
11. Pre-cancerous blood diseases can be products of their environment

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/3/2016)... 3, 2016  2016FLEX, organized by FlexTech, a ... advancements in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics. More ... - have gathered for short courses, technical session, ... electronics. The Flex Conference celebrates its 15 th ... R&D organizations, and universities contributing to the adoption ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... , March 2, 2016 ... announced the addition of the  "Global Biometrics ... their offering.  ,     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) , , ... to grow at a CAGR of around ... ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... 1, 2016 ... of the  "Global Biometric Access Control ... their offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/ghsgdt/global_biometric ... the  "Global Biometric Access Control Systems ... offering. --> Research and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... company reports the Company,s CEO  was featured in ... Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To Tread: ... Leader magazine is an essential business ... everything from emerging biotechs to Big Pharmas. Their ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... an open house for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota technical center, ... Hardinge Group, Chiron and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of tooling, accessories, ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most consumers ... with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and facial ... are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey Pritikin, ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Jon Clark has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark ... industry collaborations and managing the development of small molecule monographs based on analytical ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: