Gene identified in South African honey bees causes virgin births and lets them ...

Gene identified in South African honey bees that causes virgin births and lets workers produce only females because males 'are mostly useless' in the colony Experts have located the gene that causes virgin births in Cape honey bees The gene, called  GB45239, is located on chromosome 11 The gene also lets workers only birth females, as males are not necessary Cape honey bees are also known to take over other colonies in South Africa 

By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com

Published: 19:55 BST, 7 May 2020 | Updated: 19:55 BST, 7 May 2020

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Researchers have identified the gene among honey bees in South Africa that allows them to have 'virgin births.'

Located on chromosome 11, GB45239 lets worker bees not only reproduce without mating, but lay only females instead of males – due to the fact that 'males are mostly useless' in the colony.

The ability to produce daughters asexually, is restricted to honey bees located in the Cape region.

Cape honey bees can also reincarnate as a female queen, which has created conflict inside of what should be a collective colony.

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Researchers have identified the gene among honey bees in South Africa that allows them to have 'virgin births.' Located on chromosome 11, GB45239 lets worker bees not only reproduce without mating

Researchers have identified the gene among honey bees in South Africa that allows them to have 'virgin births.' Located on chromosome 11, GB45239 lets worker bees not only reproduce without mating

The gene has been identified by researchers from University of Sydney, which found it only exists in the South African insects.

Professor Benjamin Oldroyd in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, said: 'It is extremely exciting.'

'Scientists have been looking for this gene for the last 30 years. Now that we know it's on chromosome 11, we have solved a mystery.'

He explained that female worker bees are able to have virgin births that produce only daughters, as 'males are mostly useless.'

'But Cape workers can become genetically reincarnated as a female

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