Navigation Links
What it is to be a queen bee?
Date:12/9/2012

Queen sweat bees 'choose' the role of their daughters, according to a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology. The amount of food provided for the developing larvae determines whether the daughter becomes a worker or a new queen.

The sweat bee Halictus scabiosae are a primitive eusocial insect. Eusocial insects have a hierarchical society with a division of labor between reproductive queens and males, and workers. However for H. scabiosae all the adults have retained the ability to reproduce, although their role in the nest may preclude active reproduction.

Foundresses, large queen bees which have survived the winter, set up a new nest in spring. The first generation of offspring are usually smaller bodied female workers, which then help the queen in raising the next generation of reproductive (larger) females and males. However the first brood daughters may also reproduce either within the nest or after dispersing to other nests.

Researchers from the University of Lausanne investigated whether mothers restrict the food available to their first brood in order to ensure that they become workers because they are small sized, possibly easier to dominate, and so less likely to reproduce.

They found that the total amount of pollen and nectar supplied to the first brood was significantly less that to the second brood in fact the second brood received 1.4 times the amount of provisions than the first. However the amount of sugar provided to the two broods was approximately the same, meaning that the second brood had proportionally more pollen.

Over the two years of the study it became apparent that first brood females were always smaller than second brood females, both in terms of head size and fat reserves, but first brood males were not necessarily smaller that the males from the second brood. Nayuta Brand and Michel Chapuisat who performed this study suggest that this is because the foundress is 'choosing' to feed her first generation of daughters less.

Dr Chapuisat explained, "Although it is hard to distinguish parental manipulation from resource availability and resource acquisition, which are influenced by vegetation, weather, seasonal variation, numbers of foragers and more, the fact that we were able to see that first brood female body size remained constant despite pronounced differences in weather strengthens our argument that the foundresses restrict the food of their daughters to drive them into the worker role."


'/>"/>
Contact: Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22370
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Queens University Belfast makes significant cancer breakthrough
2. Queens researcher finds situation dire for threatened rhino species
3. Enhanced royal jelly produces jumbo queen bee larvae
4. Queens is UK leader for female scientists and engineers
5. Life expectancy may affect when you get married, divorced, have kids: Queens University study
6. Queens scientists seek vaccine for Pseudomonas infection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
What it is to be a queen bee?
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted ... quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share ... operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to ... ) , The analysts forecast the ... CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... number of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016  A new partnership announced today ... underwriting decisions in a fraction of the time ... and high-value life insurance policies to consumers without ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and ... (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at ... line options being tried for mesothelioma may be hampering the research that could lead ... research. Click here to read it now. , The team evaluated 98 ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Cell therapies for a range of ... research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) that yielded a newly patented method of ... The novel method, developed by WPI faculty members Raymond Page, PhD, professor of ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in South Texas and across ... South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the decline. In fact, donations ... are down 21 percent in South Texas in the last four years alone. , There ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... and LONDON , May 23, 2016 ... Frontage Boost Efficiency by 40% - Frontage Implement a ... Frontage Enforce Quality, Compliance and Traceability Within the Bioanalytical lab ... in the United States and ... be deployed across its laboratory facilities. In addition to serving as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: