Research

A. m. capensis queen

Conflict and cooperation

Honeybees are an ideal model system to study how societies suppress selfish behaviour by its workers. We study the European honeybee Apis mellifera, a selected 'anarchistic' line in which the majority of the workers lay eggs in the presence of a queen, and the Cape honeybee (A. m. capensis) whose workers can clone themselves via thelytokous parthenogenesis. The Cape honeybee also provides us with the unique opportunity to investigate the costs and benefits of sexual reproduction as a lineage of this amazing bee has been reproducing asexually for more than 10 years.