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For honey bee queens, multiple mating makes a difference
Date:10/8/2007

. The scientists also found differences in the two types of queens in brain-expression levels of a behaviorally relevant gene.

Our results clearly demonstrate that insemination quantity alters queen physiology, queen pheromone profiles and queen-worker interactions, the scientists write in the PLoS One paper.

Tarpy said the research could have implications for bee breeding and for beekeepers. The research suggests that queens that mate with multiple partners are superior, so breeders may want to select for this behavior.

At the same time, beekeepers usually buy mated queens when they re-queen their hives. Tarpy said it should be possible to devise a test to determine if a queen has mated few or many times. Such a test would help beekeepers determine the quality of the queens they buy.


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Contact: Dr. Freddie-Jeanne Richard
fjrichard@ncsu.edu
919-513-7857
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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