Reproduction of bees by parthenogenesis
Starting to equip the apiary on the site, each farmer must necessarily study the entire life cycle of bees. Thanks to this, it is possible to achieve high productivity of insects, as well as create the most optimal conditions for them in a given life cycle. One of the most important processes among them is reproduction. The article will consider the main features and subtleties of such a form of this process as parthenogenesis.
Parthenogenesis in bees - what is reproduction?
Science knows several ways of propagating organisms. Obtaining a new individual can occur during the crossing of the ovum of the female body and the sperm of the male, or exclusively the female and her eggs take part in the formation of the new organism. Such a process is known as parthenogenesis and may be inherent in birds, insects and microorganisms. It is a form of sexual reproduction, different from budding of yeast and other asexual methods.
Did you know? In ancient times, honey bees were distributed exclusively in Europe, Asia and Africa. In the rest of the world, they appeared only after the 16th century due to artificial relocation.
In bees, the process involves the formation of an individual from a fairly narrow set of genes. This allows you to get a specific genotype from a small amount of genetic materials. But despite this, each individual receives unique traits. Often, a bee lays mature eggs in a honeycomb, which, as it is laid, is fertilized from its seminal receptacle. It contains the genetic material of the male after mating, which is stored here for a certain time. Parthenogenesis occurs if the family does not have enough males to fertilize the uterus or as a result of its aging.Parthenogenesis in bees.
Parthenogenesis has some advantages over reproduction involving both sexes:
- this phenomenon is a unique way of preserving the insect population, as it helps to instantly compensate for the loss of the family due to any incident;
- Helps to avoid the homozygosity of the genetic apparatus of insects, which is often observed during sexual crossing;
- makes it possible to protect the population from a variety of genetic pathologies.
As a result of parthenogenesis, male fertilizers (drones) appear, so often the process is called arenotokia. However, when certain factors are combined from unfertilized eggs, female individuals with all inherent sexual characteristics can also appear. In this case, they talk about the so-called telitokia.
Three species of individuals
The prosperous existence and development of bees is due to the creation of a small group of insects. In each of them, each individual has an individual purpose and performs a special role. This provides for their gradation to certain groups: uterus, drones and working individuals.Only in this way can insects not only survive, but also double their number, as well as achieve the increased productivity necessary for a person in his economic activity.
The uterus is the main individual in any hive: the viability and effectiveness of the family depends on its productivity. The faster it processes the food, the more intensive is the laying of eggs, which affects the activity of the hive. Each bee family contains no more than 1 mature and productive bee. The rest either die as a result of competition, or as they grow older they leave the hive, creating a new family.
Important! Aggressiveness, winter hardiness and honey collection features in working bees directly depend on the behavior and temperament of the uterus: these characteristics often change dramatically after its replacement.
The life expectancy of the uterus is not more than 5 years, while special productivity is observed within 2 years from the date of maturation. After that, its activity decreases significantly, which causes an instant replenishment of the family with drones. For these reasons, in the process of intensive beekeeping every 2 years, the bees are replaced.
Despite its importance in the hive, drones are classified as temporary inhabitants of the family. Their main task is to fertilize young queens, which ensures the growth and productivity of the family. They do not have a sting and other protective organs. They are kept in hives throughout the entire period of honey collection, after which the working bees drive them out or kill them.
But often drones die naturally, about 2-3 weeks after mating. In addition, drones are an indicator of family productivity: their absence during the wintering period indicates a strong uterus, while the appearance indicates its aging.
Working individuals are female insects with undeveloped genital organs. They make up the bulk, so their number in one family can reach several thousand. Such individuals are engaged in collecting nectar and producing honey, caring for young larvae and uterus.
In addition, the accumulation of pollen, propolis, wax and other products important in beekeeping is also a by-product of their development. Their life expectancy often does not exceed 6–9 months, so the replenishment of their number is the main condition for a healthy and productive bee.
Telitokia and its result
As mentioned above, the result of parthenogenesis can be not only the appearance of drones. Often during the formation of the larva, the set of chromosomes is doubled, due to which the individual acquires the characteristics of a female. However, such an insect often has some features that distinguish it from relatives.
Did you know? The queen bee is considered the safest inhabitant of the hive. Even in an angry state, she is not able to enter into aggressive contact and sting.
Bees received as a result of telithokia will have the following differences:
- the individual will acquire signs of the uterus or will remotely resemble a working individual;
- quite large sizes;
- the abdomen is conical in shape and has a glossy sheen;
- the structure of pollen brushes and other appendages of the oral apparatus will have an uncharacteristic shape and size;
- due to fertilization, insects will give a triple set of chromosomes.
The uterus born as a result of telithokia will have full-fledged female signs, so as it grows older it will become absolutely suitable for replenishing the family. However, often this is its main drawback. It will give weak larvae, with all sorts of pathologies and low survival. Gradually, this will lead to the degeneration of the entire population and the rapid death of the family.
Features of the search for fraud
Determining the drone bee is difficult, but the future of the entire family depends on it. Therefore, if the productivity of the hive drops sharply, it is necessary first of all to suspect toffings in this and throw all the forces into the fight against them. To do this, first of all, you should inspect the condition of the bee house from the inside. First of all, fruit cells should be inspected: healthy and young uterus lay eggs evenly, around the entire perimeter of the cells.
Important! To avoid the appearance of trombones, the uterus should be periodically replaced. At the same time, the family reacts best to the young and fertilized queen.
In turn, the slabs lay them in groups or with numerous passes throughout the cell.You should also carefully examine the cells themselves: the drone uterus lays 2 or more eggs in each of them, while the productive one lays no more than one in one cell. The low productivity of the fungus is also associated with this, since the development of 2 larvae in one cell almost always leads to the death of both.However, the search for terns often does not yield a positive result: they are lost against the background of working bees, so it is practically impossible to separate such an insect from a swarm. In this case, even if successful, catching and destroying the tinder does not give the necessary results. Even when a strong and mature uterus is shared, the swarm in most cases does not perceive the new queen.
Parthenogenesis in different species
All representatives of cultural varieties of bees belong to the so-called genus Apis. Despite the general morphological and metabolic features, each of them differs in its own subtleties of the passage of parthenogenesis and its activity. The most famous and common subspecies of the insect Mellifera is one of the most prominent representatives of same-sex reproduction. This insect quite often forms a haploid set of chromosomes, which ensures the appearance of drones. In this case, the individual acquires 32 chromosomes.
This feature is distinguished by most representatives of the genus. ApisHowever, some species have a slightly different genetic apparatus. For example, bees Dorsata, and Florea differ in a set of 8 chromosomes. This makes it possible to obtain a diploid individual whose genetic apparatus will consist of 16 chromosomes. This contributes to the development of telithokia, but not every individual of these species is capable of the process. Accordingly, tinder funds are born only under certain factors.Partenogenesis in bees is understood as a specific reproduction system, which does not involve the involvement of male cells in the process. This is a fairly common phenomenon in these groups of insects, but it is not a natural norm. Parthenogenesis is a response to the death of drones or to all kinds of problems with the fertilization of the uterus. Over time, it leads to the degeneration of the family, threatening for her a slow death.