Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Causes The Social Order In Bee Colonies To Collapse

A hive of Apis dorsata (giant honey bees) I photographed whilst in Mt Abu, India. Wikipedia

AFP: Sexual rebellion and murder among the bees

Scientists revealed Wednesday the trigger that can plunge a colony of obedient and sterile worker bees dutifully serving their queen into a chaotic swarm of sexual rebellion and regicide.

It's in the beeswax, according to a study published in the British journal Royal Society Open Science.

Biologists have long puzzled at what, exactly, tips the ordered world of many social insects -- rigidly divided by caste, function and hierarchy -- into murderous mayhem of sometimes Shakespearean dimensions.

In this case, the actor subject to observation and experimentation was Bombus terrestris, more commonly known as the bumblebee.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: I have been fascinated with bees since I was a kid. But this AFP report is an excellent post that summarizes how a bee colony functions.

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