bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The godfathers of the ant world

First: long time, no post. Apologies -- if you care!

There is a fascinating BBC News Online story about another social insect today -- the ant and how its males surreptitiously pass on the queen gene to ensure that their offspring become reproductive queens, not mere workers. Or, to put it another way, unlike honeybees it isn't just the larval food that determines who can become a queen.

Apparently, the male ant spreads his royal gene secretly and probably around several colonies to make sure he isn't rumbled by other ants who might revolt if they thought they were being burdened by too many queens.

I must find out more about the ant's social milieu.



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