Re: homosexuality as an evolutionary adaptation...

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 15:52:37 -0800 (PST)

> The difference is that [workers] share many of the genes with the queen
> and with the other bees. I'm not sure of the details, but they may even
> all be clones of each other. At least that's how it is with ants.
It is
> because the workers share so many genes with the reproducing organisms
> that group selection works effectively with hive insects.
> Without such close kinship, group selection has a weak effect and
> will tend to be dominated by individual selection. An individual who
> reproduces will tend to have more of his genes propagated than one who
> does not but who benefits the group as a whole.

All worker bees in a hive are effectively sisters, so they pass on their genes by supporting the queen as a sister factory. It was once thought that this genetic arrangement was necessary for eusociality to evolve, but this has since been overturned by naked mole rats and other fully eusocial animals that have different genetics.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
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