Document Detail

Swarming Generates Rebel Workers in Honeybees.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22464193     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
According to kin selection theory, the colony kin structure of eusocial insects motivates workers' altruistic behaviors and therefore their sterility or restricted reproduction [1]. Indeed, theory and cross-species comparison confirm that workers engage in their own reproduction depending on relatedness among colony members [2, 3]. We show that in a honeybee colony, the workers switch from their typical altruistic role to a more selfish one if at their larval stage there are environmental cues of an upcoming decline in intracolony relatedness. This happens inevitably when a colony multiplies by swarming and replaces the mother queen with her daughter, because the mother queen's workers are faced with rearing the sister queen's offspring related to them half as much as between sisters. Workers developing from the mother queen's eggs immediately after swarming, in a temporarily queenless colony, had more ovarioles in their ovaries and less-developed hypopharyngeal glands producing brood food than control workers reared in queenright conditions. These "rebel" workers were more engaged in laying their own male-determined eggs than in rearing offspring, whether or not the sister queen was present in the colony. The finding of this previously unknown rebel strategy confirms that kin selection shapes both cooperation and conflict in honeybee societies.
Michal Woyciechowski; Karolina Kuszewska
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current biology : CB     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-0445     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9107782     Medline TA:  Curr Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland.
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