Mary R. Myerscough

Learn More
A honey bee colony is characterized by high genetic diversity among its workers, generated by high levels of multiple mating by its queen. Few clear benefits of this genetic diversity are known. Here we show that brood nest temperatures in genetically diverse colonies (i.e., those sired by several males) tend to be more stable than in genetically uniform(More)
Since 2006 the rate of honey bee colony failure has increased significantly. As an aid to testing hypotheses for the causes of colony failure we have developed a compartment model of honey bee colony population dynamics to explore the impact of different death rates of forager bees on colony growth and development. The model predicts a critical threshold(More)
A feature of some species of eusocial Hymenoptera is a high level of intra-colonial genetic diversity, and correlated diversity in the level of the stimulus required for individuals to initiate work. Here we explore the effects of intracolonial variability on the responsiveness of colonies to changing needs in task allocation using computer simulation. Our(More)
In polyandrous social insects such as honey bees, a worker’s affinity for a particular task may be genetically infl uenced and so some patrilines may have lower stimulus thresholds for commencing a task than others. We used simulation models to investigate the effects of intracolonial diversity in the task thresholds that stimulate workers to engage in(More)
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are increasingly in demand as pollinators for various key agricultural food crops, but globally honey bee populations are in decline, and honey bee colony failure rates have increased. This scenario highlights a need to understand the conditions in which colonies flourish and in which colonies fail. To aid this investigation we(More)
We consider a cell-chemotaxis model mechanism for generating some of the common, simple and complex, patterns found on the skin of snakes. By investigating the pattern generation potential of the model we show that many of the more complex patterns might result from growth of the integument during the pattern formation process. We suggest that many of the(More)
Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here(More)
During reproductive swarming and seasonal migration, a honeybee swarm needs to locate and move to a new, suitable nest site. While the nest-site selection process in cavity-nesting species such as the European honeybee Apis mellifera is very precise with the swarm carefully selecting a single site, open-nesting species, such as Apis florea, lack such(More)
Reproductive swarms of honeybees are faced with the problem of finding a good site to establish a new colony. We examined the potential effects of swarm size on the quality of nest-site choice through a combination of modelling and field experiments. We used an individual-based model to examine the effects of swarm size on decision accuracy under the(More)