By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com
Published: 19:55 BST, 7 May 2020 | Updated: 19:55 BST, 7 May 2020
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
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