Promiscuity promotes genetic diversity

Interesting story out of Michigan State University. According to a study published in PLoS ONE, researchers have discovered that the Queen giant honey bee from honey bee colonies on Hainan Island, off the coast of China, maintain their genetic diversity by mating with over 100 males.

The island queens carry around 40 CSD alleles. Since they mate with nearly 100 males – each also harboring around 40 alleles – the high number of healthy genetic combinations keeps the gene pool diverse. By using natural selection to create healthy offspring, the bees perpetuate a healthy colony.

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