Above is a link to an journal article in Nature titled "Insights into social insects from the
genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera".
Now while Im not a genetics guru by any means there are some interesting insights in the article worth noting.
- That Apis mellifera evolved it's sociality based upon the genome sequence that directs the production of the Royal Jelly proteins. It evolved and expanded itself, several times since its first inception. Every other social aspect of a honey bees life is a direct result of the development of this protein.
- The genetic difference between your average honey bee and the Africanized variety is allelic in nature. Which basically means that the over defensive nature of AHB is due to just having a different form of a gene it shares with every other bee in the genera. In simpler terms it is the difference between having blue eyes and brown eyes. One gene codes for several different versions. Which means that over time the angry nature could be bred out with enough diluting of the gene pool.
- That increased pathogen load from living in a society has actually had a detrimental influence on the honey bees genome. It doesnt code for immunity, however disease does code specific responses that are encoded in the social parts of the genome.... Which is pretty freaking cool that almost everything is coded in a waterfall effect around the honeybees social programming.