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:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic ... by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, ... accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of ... ... A research team led by Dr ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General ... Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR ... Continue Reading ... ... picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/23/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... Patients suffering from gum disease and failing implants ... Sawan Malik. Dr. Malik, of Broward Center for Laser Periodontics and Implants ... the future of dentistry with regenerative periodontal procedures. , "I initially ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... , ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... on the development and distribution of highly differentiated spinal implant technologies, announced today ... brings 15 years of spinal device industry experience to directing Cutting Edge ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... Finalists have recently been selected ... that have implemented innovative products, services, and technology over the past year. The ... impact/value, and market need. The applicants with the top three scores in each ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... they will feature Federal Hybrids, Inc. in an upcoming episode, scheduled to broadcast ... American Farmer will explore Federal Hybrids, the independent, family-owned seed company. Educating audiences ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: