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

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Multiple Pairing Honeybee Colony Entire Colony Full Sister Half Sister 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

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