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That was my initial response this morning too. Their credibility was in question because the lead image/video is not a honey bee, then they have a stock photo of two "bumblebees" on comb.

The research is interesting and may explain why the mating flight(s) end and the next phase starts.
 

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So how does a queen, blinded for 24-48 hours, find her way back to her hive before getting eaten by a bird or dragonfly? Interesting theory, but I have serious doubts as to it's veracity. Does not pass my plausibility sniff test.
 

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I saw this article today too, and I thought it was published as satire. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this is actually a peer-reviewed research study:

https://elifesciences.org/articles/45009

Still thinking through the implications of the research, but it seems dubious to draw such firm conclusions when one watches the mechanics of how the mating process itself unfolds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have my doubts as well. I suppose the theory is that the evolutionary pressures that cause a queen to make only a single or very limited flights were blinding sperm and not the fact that queens are extremely vulnerable on the wing.
 

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I think that the supporting experiment must have been done on a selected group of backward drones prone to mounting from the wrong end:rolleyes: Normally I cant envision much juice getting in the queens eyes.

Down't eat that 'arry, thath 'orth thit!
 

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I find it hard to imagine the Drone cares if the Queen mates again after him. He is an insect that has a bigger problem now that he has mated. Pain and death trumps jealously. :D

Alex
 

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Many are getting sex backwards and mixed up these days, but I digress...:rolleyes:

The conclusion of the study (or any study) are much more subjective than the base results. So, from the abstract only:

The actual science:
"We used artificial insemination, RNA-sequencing and electroretinography to show that seminal fluid induces a decline in queen vision by perturbing the phototransduction pathway within 24–48 hr."

The conclusion:
"Honeybees therefore appear to have a unique, evolutionarily derived form of sexual conflict"

The conclusion is too much of a leap for me, but the science is interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As I understood the article that I saw it takes a while for the toxin to take effect. Its not instant. It may explain why the queen stops taking mating flights.
This is what I gathered. I suspect that their is a high degree of kinship in any one particular DCA. Lots of brothers and first cousins. So, if we are to follow the theory that there was an evolutionary drive to propagate a patriarchal line, then there would be no defenses against mass-mating within the one DCA (cause that clearly did not develop, poor girls), but instead the drones wanted to ensure that the queen did not fly to another DCA for a completely different set of genetics. So they caused a delayed blindness to set in preventing her from venturing out again.

If there is ANY truth to this, color me freaking amazed.
 
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