Is Honey Thicker than Blood: How Important Is the Family?



The close family relationships in a beehive are a result, not the reason, for their formation of a colony.

The creation of the social form of the honeybee colony, as the most complex and highest level of organization yet achieved in the world of living organisms, was a step in evolution that one could have predicted. The question of when this step actually took place is closely related to the question about the conditions under which such a development could ever occur. A theoretical expectation on its own does not lead to reality when the appropriate conditions are not available. The quantum evolutionary leap to a superorganism was associated with the chance occurrence of a “technical prerequisite” that strongly favored the appearance of this life form. To provide an analogy: man long theorized about, and wished to fly before putting this into practice. The final step was possible only once the materials needed to build a functional flying machine had been assembled.


Multiple Pairing Honeybee Colony Entire Colony Full Sister Half Sister 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

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