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Idiosyncratic social behavior within bumble bee Bombus impatiens colonies impacts reproductive potential of workers

Guerin, C.J.M. (2017) Idiosyncratic social behavior within bumble bee Bombus impatiens colonies impacts reproductive potential of workers. Master's Thesis / Essay, Energy and Environmental Sciences.

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Abstract

Primitively eusocial bumble bee colonies enter a competition phase towards the end of the colony cycle, during which a few workers lay eggs at the expense of the foundress queen. Consistent variability in behaviors among workers, called behavioral idiosyncrasies, have been recently shown to occur in bumble bee colonies between closely related sisters. However, it is still poorly understood whether and to which extent social behavior plays a role in worker ovarian development. Using automated tracking, I assessed individual social interactions in three whole colonies of Bombus impatiens, and dissected workers in order to measure their ovarian development. I found that social interaction level negatively correlates with ovary development of an individual. I conclude that social environment is an important factor to the onset of the competition phase in primitively eusocial bumble bees, and thus can help determine reproductive workers who will compete against the queen for males production.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Energy and Environmental Sciences
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:33
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:33
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/16144

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