Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Aussie bees fight 'hive wars'

21st October 2014

By Jonathan Webb
Science reporter, BBC News

Bee colonies in Brisbane are waging war for months on end, sending waves of workers who collide, grapple and die.

A genetic analysis of the battlefield fatalities showed that two different species of stingless bees were fighting for control of a single hive.

The attacking swarm eventually took over the hive entirely, placing a new queen of its own in the usurped nest.

The study, published in the American Naturalist journal, suggests that such usurped nests are surprisingly common.

Ecologists from Brisbane, in Australia, and Oxford, in the UK, looked in detail at one particular hive.
It was inhabited by a bee species native to the area around Brisbane, called Tetragonula carbonaria.

Continued ...

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