Title: Working-class royalty: bees beat the caste system
Authors: Wenseleers, Tom ×
Ratnieks, Francis L.W.
de F Ribeiro, Marcia
de A Alves, Denise
Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera-Lucia #
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: The Royal Society
Series Title: Biology letters vol:1 issue:2 pages:125-8
Abstract: The struggle among social classes or castes is well known in humans. Here, we show that caste inequality similarly affects societies of ants, bees and wasps, where castes are morphologically distinct and workers have greatly reduced reproductive potential compared with queens. In social insects, an individual normally has no control over its own fate, whether queen or worker, as this is socially determined during rearing. Here, for the first time, we quantify a strategy for overcoming social control. In the stingless bee Schwarziana quadripunctata, some individuals reared in worker cells avoid a worker fate by developing into fully functional dwarf queens.
ISSN: 1744-9561
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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