This honeybee population proves what many of us already knew — girls run the world.
Researchers have proven that a population of Cape bees living in South Africa has figured out a way to reproduce sans the dudes.
We probably don’t need to remind you most animals reproduce sexually and therefore need both a male and a female to produce an offspring. But honeybees have a bit of a different approach.
Queen bees mate with a drone, or male honeybee, during their so-called "seasonal mating flights." The fertilized queen then forms a new colony by laying eggs inside a honeycomb. Some of those eggs are fertilized and hatch into female worker bees or queens. Some aren’t fertilized — those eggs hatch into drones.
But this particular population in South Africa doesn't need the drones or a "seasonal mating flight." Researchers say they lay eggs that are fertilized by their own DNA.
We still don't know why this happens in Cape bees, but the how is becoming a bit more clear.
After comparing the entire genomes of a Cape bee and a regular honeybee, researchers found several genes have big differences.
A researcher studying the population said: "The question of why this population of honeybees in South Africa has evolved to reproduce asexually is still a mystery. But understanding the genes involved brings us closer to understanding it."