Egg police crack down on broody bees

Tom Wenseleers of the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) in the Netherlands and Francis Ratnieks of the University of Sheffield, UK, studied nine species of social wasps and the honeybee. In all of these colonies the workers have functional ovaries and could lay eggs, but instead they usually raise the offspring of the queen. What stops them from being selfish and laying their own eggs? The answer turned out to be the “egg police”.

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