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Juvenile hormone (JH) controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC) complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with(More)
The evolution of eusociality is one of the major transitions in evolution, but the underlying genomic changes are unknown. We compared the genomes of 10 bee species that vary in social complexity, representing multiple independent transitions in social evolution, and report three major findings. First, many important genes show evidence of neutral evolution(More)
The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species.(More)
Learning in insects has been extensively studied using different experimental approaches. One of them, the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, is particularly well suited for quantitative studies of cognitive abilities of honeybees under controlled conditions. The goal of this study was to analyze the capability of three eusocial bee species to be(More)
The difference in phenotypes of queens and workers is a hallmark of the highly eusocial insects. The caste dimorphism is often described as a switch-controlled polyphenism, in which environmental conditions decide an individual's caste. Using theoretical modeling and empirical data from honeybees, we show that there is no discrete larval developmental(More)
In Hymenoptera, homozygosity at the sex locus results in the production of diploid males. In social species, these pose a double burden by having low fitness and drawing resources normally spent for increasing the work force of a colony. Yet, diploid males are of academic interest as they can elucidate effects of ploidy (normal males are haploid, whereas(More)
A striking example of immunosenescence is seen in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker caste. The bees' age-associated transition from hive duties to more risky foraging activities is linked to a dramatic decline in immunity. Explicitly, it has been shown that an increase in the juvenile hormone (JH) level, which accompanies onset of foraging behavior,(More)
Mounting evidence implicates ecdysteroids in queen–worker differentiation during the last larval instars of highly social insects. In the present study, we analyzed ecdysteroid titers in queen and worker larvae of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris from the second to the early fourth instar. B. terrestris is of particular interest because caste is already(More)
Cooperation requires communication; this applies to animals and humans alike. The main communication means differ between taxa and social insects (ants, termites, and some bees and wasps) lack the cognitive abilities of most social vertebrates. Central to the regulation of the reproductive harmony in insect societies is the production of a royalty scent(More)