Scientists have figured out how honey bees reproduce without a male partner.
Scientists have sequenced the entire genomes of the Cape bees, an isolated population of honeybees living in South Africa that has evolved a strategy to reproduce without males.
Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden compared the genome with other populations of honeybees to find out the genetic mechanisms behind their asexual reproduction.
Most animals reproduce sexually, which means that both males and females are required for the species to survive.
Normally, the honeybee is no exception to this rule: the female queen bee produces new offspring by laying eggs that have been fertilised by sperm from male drones.
However, one isolated population of honeybees living in the southern Cape of Africa has evolved a strategy to do without males.
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