Drone story 1

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    The drone brood (male bees) is on the increase at this time of year. About 10% of the cells are now occupied by drone larvae like these two and usually positioned towards the outside of the brood nest, surrounding the worker cells. You can spot them immediately by the elongated raised sides and the larger diameter (6mm across compared to 5mm for workers) to take the much fatter drones. The size of the cell is what determines whether the Queen fertilises the egg as she lays it to give a worker or not to give a drone. This quirk of social insect reproduction means that workers are related 50% to the queen and drones 100%. The consequences of this system (haplodiploidy) are complex but are the basis of the usual explanation of the extreme altruism in social insects and the worker sterility - I can explain if anyone is interested :-)

    Jay Dugger, k swears, featherbed, and 3 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. *CA* ages ago | reply

      I'm game for an explanation.

      Also, someone asked on a previous shot how the pollen gets removed from the bees' legs. Now I can't find the shot and don't know if you answered. I kept wondering off and on today.

    2. Max xx ages ago | reply

      I've just answered the pollen question here . I'll try and get round to the genetics one soon - total panic as our daughter Sarah gets married here in 2 weeks!

    3. Chrissie2003 ages ago | reply

      Nice one and interesting, especially the haplodiploidy

    4. Pixel-Pusher 63 months ago | reply

      I have been wondering about bee hive evolution of late and your information is very interesting.
      I have extremely little first hand knowledge of bees as it is illegal in the city of Fullerton to have bees.

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