Science Daily: Genetic 'Remix' Key to Evolution of Bee Behavior, Researchers Find


Photo Credit: westcoasthoney.com.au

Worker bees have become a highly skilled and specialized work force because the genes that determine their behaviour are shuffled frequently, helping natural selection to build a better bee, research from York University suggests.

The study, published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), sheds light on how worker bees — who are sterile — evolved charismatic and cooperative behaviours such as nursing young bees, collecting food for the colony, defending it against intruders, and dancing to communicate the location of profitable flowers to nestmates.

 

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