Acta Biológica Colombiana
Print version ISSN 0120-548X
NATES-PARRA, GUIOMAR. Behavior Genetics:: Bees as Model. Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.3, pp. 213-230. ISSN 0120-548X.
The honeybee Apis mellifera (Apidae) is a model widely used in behavior because of its elaborate social life requiring coordinate actions among the members of the society. Within a colony, division of labor, the performance of tasks by different individuals, follows genetically determined physiological changes that go along with aging. Modern advances in tools of molecular biology and genomics, as well as the sequentiation of A. mellifera genome, have enabled a better understanding of honeybee behaviour, in particular social behaviour. Numerous studies show that aspects of worker behaviour are genetically determined, including defensive, hygienic, reproductive and foraging behaviour. For example, genetic diversity is associated with specialization to collect water, nectar and pollen. Also, control of worker reproduction is associated with genetic differences. In this paper, I review the methods and the main results from the study of the genetic and genomic basis of some behaviours in bees.
Keywords : Apis mellifera; anarchy; hygienic behavior; aggressive behaviour; division of labor.