What Makes a Queen Bee, Queen?
Unlike the English monarchy, queen bees are not born females. Their development into queens stems from their diet of “royal jelly” which is secreted from the glands of the nurse bees. The larvae that feed on a mixture of pollen and honey develop into worker bees. However, researchers have found that diet alone does not solely determine the caste of the larvae. MicroRNA is the second factor in determining bee caste. The effects of microRNA include stunted body and ovarian grown in bees. This could potentially help solve the crisis of our declining rate of honey bees. Since there has been a significant decrease in honeybees over the decade, it could be possible to use this information to selectively breed more worker honey bees.