Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,025 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Age at Which Larvae Are Orphaned Determines Their Development into Typical or Rebel Workers in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)
In the honeybee, diploid larvae fed with royal jelly develop into reproductive queens, whereas larvae fed with royal jelly for three days only and subsequently with honey and pollen develop into facultatively sterile workers. A recent study showed that worker larvae fed in a queenless colony develop into another female polyphenic form: rebel workers. These rebel workers are more queenlike and have greater reproductive potential than normal workers. However, it was unclear whether larvae orphaned at any time during their feeding period can develop into rebels. To answer this question, the anatomical features of newly emerged workers reared in queenless conditions at different ages during the larval period were evaluated. Our results showed that larvae orphaned during the final four or more days of their feeding life develop into rebel workers with more ovarioles in their ovaries, smaller hypopharyngeal glands, and larger mandibular and Dufour’s glands compared with typical workers with low reproductive potential that were reared with a queen or orphaned at the third to last or a later day of feeding life.
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123404
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,799 Posts
I'm afraid I don't get the purpose of rebel workers. They seem interesting enough but I don't see a purpose. Tom Seeley's involvement with the paper as Editor gives it some credibility.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top