Weak bees make strong colonies

Posted by on June 9, 2016 3:56 pm
Categories: Science

Colonies of the Eastern honey bee, the original host of parasitic Varroa destructor mites, survive infestations that are fatal to Western honey bees. A research team has now discovered that a large proportion of infested Eastern honey bee larvae die, prompting their elimination from the colony, together with that of their parasites. Counter-intuitively, weak individuals contribute to society survival by preventing the parasite to spread. This is an example of how altruistic suicide can be favored by nature.

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