Something interesting, for Christi:

Bee sex. Have you ever thought about it? It's really really weird.

The workers are sterile females. They carry both sets of bee chromosomes.
The drones are essentially males, and carry only one set of chromosomes.

In a hive, the queen bee, the only sexually reproductive member of the hive,
lays fertilized eggs to produce a worker (or another queen!), and an unfertilized
egg to produce a drone.

The drones don't mate with the queen of their hive. They fly off every day, seeking
love. All the drones from the local hives somehow gather in the same spot every day
hoping a queen will come by, looking for some action.

If it's a good day, a new queen will fly by on her only flight outside the hive, and
mate with 10 to 20 drones. If a drone does get lucky, he mates with the queen, and then
promptly dies. (What luck! One fuck! Hey below! Duck!)

The queen returns to the hive, never to venture out again, and lays eggs for the rest of her life.

A fertilized egg will most likely grow up to be a worker. But if it is fed the right mixture of food
while it is a larva, it might grow up to be a queen. The current queen uses pheromes to encourage
the workers to only feed the larvae worker food, but if the hive gets to big she loses her influence
and the workers might start the queen diet, called royal jelly.

The first thing that happens when a new queen is about to be born is that the old queen takes
about half of the hive and skeedattles to found a new colony. The new queen, once born,
kills any another queens that might not have hatched yet. Then she goes out to find the gathering
of drones, and then returns to her hive to lay eggs for the rest of her life.

Was that interesting enough?


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