queen

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One night of passion and you’re filled with a lifetime full of sperm with no need to ever mate again. As sex lives go, it doesn’t sound very appealing, but it’s what many ants, bees, wasps and termites experience. The queens of these social insects mate in a single “nuptial flight” that lasts for a…

The success of termites ¬≠and other social insects hinges on their complex social systems, where workers sacrifice the ability to raise their own young in order to serve the colony and its queen – the only individual who reproduces. But this social order can be thrown into chaos by knocking out a single gene, and…

Termite colonies are families – millions of individual workers all descended from one king and one queen. But the colony itself tends to outlast this initial royal couple. When they die, new kings and queens rise to take their place. These secondary royals are a common feature of some families of termites, and they will…