Andrew F. G. Bourke

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We argue that caste determination, the process whereby females in the social Hymenoptera develop into either queens or workers, is subject to kin-selected con-¯ict. Potential con¯ict arises because developing females are more closely related to their would-be o€spring than to those of other females. Therefore, they may favour becoming queens contrary to the(More)
The evolution of extreme cooperation, as found in eusocial insects (those with a worker caste), is potentially undermined by selfish reproduction among group members. In some eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), workers can produce male offspring from unfertilized eggs. Kin selection theory predicts levels of worker reproduction as a function of the(More)
Kin selection theory predicts conflict in social Hymenoptera between the queen and workers over male parentage because each party is more closely related to its own male offspring. Some aspects of the reproductive biology of the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris support kin selection theory but others arguably do not. We present a novel hypothesis for how(More)
Division of labour is central to the ecological success of eusocial insects, yet the evolutionary factors driving increases in complexity in division of labour are little known. The size-complexity hypothesis proposes that, as larger colonies evolve, both non-reproductive and reproductive division of labour become more complex as workers and queens act to(More)
Land-use changes have threatened populations of many insect pollinators, including bumble bees. Patterns of dispersal and gene flow are key determinants of species' ability to respond to land-use change, but have been little investigated at a fine scale (<10 km) in bumble bees. Using microsatellite markers, we determined the fine-scale spatial genetic(More)
Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel(More)
Inclusive fitness theory predicts that sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera are a function of the relatedness asymmetry (relative relatedness to females and males) of the individuals controlling sex allocation. In monogynous ants (with one queen per colony), assuming worker control, the theory therefore predicts female-biased sex investment ratios,(More)