Science Interviews

Interview

Sat, 12th May 2012

Giant sex-crazed bees

Nell Barrie

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show The world of top (genetics) models

Nell -  Yeah, this is giant bees in China and this was published in PLoS One.  They're actually looking at isolated colonies of bees on an island off the coast of China and what they were trying to figure out is how these bees cope with being so isolated because you'd expect them to be again, not very diverse genetically because they haven’t got a lot of options in terms of who they're breeding with.  What they found is the way the honeybee queens cope with this is just by having sex with loads of males, as many as they can, which is a great strategy.

Kat -  Really?

Nell -  Apparently so.

Kat -  Not yours.

Nell -  Well, these are giant sex-crazed bees we’re talking about so, who knows what they get up to.  But this is good for them because it means that they are mixing up those genes as much as possible and that means that they're not becoming too inbred I guess.

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