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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Sneaky queens in Melipona bees selectively detect and infiltrate queenless colonies

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Van Oystaeyen, Annette [1] ; Alves, Denise Araujo [2] ; Oliveira, Ricardo Caliari [1] ; do Nascimento, Daniela Lima [2] ; do Nascimento, Fabio Santos [2] ; Billen, Johan [1] ; Wenseleers, Tom [1]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Katholieke Univ Leuven, Inst Zool, Lab Socioecol & Social Evolut, B-3000 Louvain - Belgium
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Fac Filosofia Ciencias & Letras Ribeirao Preto, Dept Biol, Lab Ecol & Comportamento Insetos Sociais, Ribeirao Preto, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR; v. 86, n. 3, p. 603-609, SEP 2013.
Web of Science Citations: 9

Insect societies are characterized by advanced cooperation, but at the same time the complexity of their colonies renders them susceptible to reproductive parasitism. Recently, a genetic study on the Brazilian stingless bee Melipona scutellaris showed that unrelated queens frequently invade and take over colonies in which the mother queen had died. In the present study, we investigated this phenomenon using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. We confirmed that alien queen take-overs are common within this species, and demonstrated that mated queens actively seek out colonies without a queen to reproduce in. Furthermore, we found that queens only penetrate their target colonies in the evening, when guarding efficiency is significantly reduced. We hypothesize that this strategy reduces the chance of the queens being attacked by entrance guards, thus maximizing their chance of successful infiltration. (C) 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/19717-4 - Intraspecific social parasitism as a reproductive strategy in stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponini)
Grantee:Denise de Araujo Alves
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 10/10027-5 - Behavioural mediation, chemical signalisation and physiological aspects regulating the social organization in hymenopterans
Grantee:Fábio Santos do Nascimento
Support type: Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants
FAPESP's process: 11/21084-2 - A behavioral study of intraspecific queen parasitism in Melipona stingless bees using radio frequency identification tags
Grantee:Denise de Araujo Alves
Support type: Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International