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Wasps and Hornets

Why incomplete parthenogenesis takes place in honey bee?


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2009-03-15 20:45:37
2009-03-15 20:45:37

Parthenogenesis is an asexual reproduction method where offspring are produced without fertilization. The offspring of parthenogenesis is effectively a clone of the mother, so is always female.

In a honey bee, offspring can be diploid (chromosomes from both parents) or haploid (chromosomes from one parent only). The queen holds a store of sperm from her mating flight about a week after emerging from the brood cell and releases a sperm to an egg just before she lays it. This fertilized egg will develop into a diploid female (16 chromosomes from the queen and 16 from the drone).

If the queen lays an egg which she does not fertilize, it will develop into haploid male (16 chromosomes from the queen only). It is possible, but rare, for there to be a diploid male, but in this case it never becomes sexually mature.

Because the result of an unfertilized egg is a male, this is not the result of parthenogenisis.

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