Individual Differences And Specialization

Superimposed on broader patterns of division of labor, such as body size or age effects, workers sometimes exhibit idiosyncratic specialization on tasks. For example, Apis and Polybia foragers often specialize by collecting one of the several materials their colony needs to function. Such specialization may be benefit the colony by increasing the efficiency or reliability of task performance.

Genetic Effects Genetic relatedness among the offspring in the worker force is highest when the workers are born to a single reproductive female, which has mated with a single male. Some social insect species exhibit mating behavior or social structure that decreases the genetic relatedness among the offspring workers within colonies. When queens mate with several different, unrelated males (polyandry), or when several reproductive females are present in the colony (polygyny), workers can find themselves sharing a nest with a combination of more closely and more distantly related individuals. In a number of polyandrous and polygynous species, including Apis spp. and stingless bees (genus Partamona), several species of ants, and Polybia spp., workers that are more genetically similar have been found to specialize on similar tasks.

Experience and Learning A predicted benefit of task specialization is that workers can improve performance as they gain experience. There is evidence that some insect workers learn to perform tasks more effectively with experience. Bumble bees collecting nectar and pollen from complex flowers learn to do so more rapidly after repeated attempts to handle a given type of flower. Polybia foragers are less likely to return from foraging trips empty-handed as they gain foraging experience.

Bee Keeping

Bee Keeping

Make money with honey How to be a Beekeeper. Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby or you can turn it into a lucrative business. The choice is yours. You need to know some basics to help you get started. The equipment needed to be a beekeeper. Where can you find the equipment you need? The best location for the hives. You can't just put bees in any spot. What needs to be considered when picking the location for your bees?

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