Why does a bee die after stinging? - 9oole

Why does a bee die after stinging?

Summer illustration for children. Hand drawn doodle plants. Cartoon character.

To answer these questions, several important aspects of this research should be clarified. First of all, it is necessary to clarify the idea of ​​genetic investment and how reproductive strategies develop in nature accordingly. Genetic investment is the percentage of investment that parents make of their genes in making the reproductive process successful. For example, you are a genetic investment for your parents who invested about 50% of their genes to produce you.

Of course, these percentages are approximate percentages to clarify the idea, and they vary in reality. The only immediate reason for being here today and being able to write this article is to program my genes to reproduce. My ancestors hundreds of millions of years ago and they practiced reproduction until the series reached me today. I also in my role do everything I can to spread my DNA to the next generation, but this process is not limited to sexual reproduction exclusively. Of course, direct sexual practice guarantees the continuity of 50% of my DNA, but I also contribute to spreading my genes by helping my brother to spread his genes. I help spread my genes by helping my cousins ​​and I contribute to spreading my genes by taking care of my grandchildren and all my family members.

 As long as my family members succeed in surviving through generations, a good percentage of my genes are passed down through them. If we collect my family members as a whole, we find that the genetic investment in them may reach 600% of my original genes. Family bonding is an instinctive bond in which each individual works to contribute to spreading his genes by helping his relatives. This means that when your brother helps you, he does so to spread his genes, and when you help your cousins, you also contribute to spreading your genes. Thus, the proportion of genetic investment decreases until we reach other types, ending with bacteria, for example. This means that our sympathy with the living is the result of our desire to help them spread their genes, which may be similar to our genes, although the percentage of similarity is relatively low compared to our relatives and acquaintances of humans.

Nice, but what does this have to do with the question?

Understanding the genetic investment of organisms explains their reproductive strategies. Reproduction in bees differs greatly from that in mammals, resulting in different survival strategies and actions that may appear to us as sacrifice or suicide because our view of the behaviors from our concept of reproduction differs when understanding the strategies of other organisms. The male bee fertilizes the female only once in his life and the female keeps all the necessary stock of sperm for successful reproduction throughout her life.Here it is necessary to scrutinize a little because the idea may become somewhat complex. 

The male who fertilized the female has exactly identical sperms (no genetic variation or variation in them) and I will explain why shortly, but this means that all the offspring that will be born due to his fertilization will be identical in a very high proportion, because the mother’s chromosomes + the identical father’s chromosomes will make up the offspring. Now we have a fertilized female with a large stock of identical sperm. The female bee controls when to fertilize her eggs with these stored sperms. If she lays unfertilized eggs, she produces males (so the male who will fertilize females in the future has genetically identical animals because he produces an unfertilized female egg “100% of the mother’s genes”). If the female fertilizes her eggs with her stored sperm, she will lay eggs that will result in females, and these females will be genetically close because they are the result of identical sperms with their mother’s eggs that are relatively close in DNA.

 For fear of complicating this axis more than that, the basic idea here is that the reproductive process of bees depends on the queen, who in turn regulates the reproduction process within the hive. The guarantee of the continuity of offspring for each member of the cell does not depend on his own safety, but on the safety of the queen and her ability to continue laying eggs. The children of the queen (male or female) are unable to reproduce and are completely dependent on the queen for the continuation of reproduction. Over time, one of the females turns into a queen (because of the type of food she eats) but leaves the cell in search of a male who fertilizes her in order to start a new cell on her own. This means that if I were a bee, my only means of surviving and reproducing was by ensuring the safety of the hive in general and the queen in particular. 

My future offspring are the result of the insemination of one female of the hive after she has left by another male and so my personal safety is not important to the continuation of my offspring. This idea directly affects how the bee deals with risks that may lead to the termination of its offspring. We defend our children because they are the guarantors of the continuity of our offspring in the future, but in the case of bees, each individual defends the hive as a whole because the continuation of his offspring depends on the survival of the hive and not his personal safety. Given that bees can only reproduce through the queen, the death of any member of the hive is not a problem for this individual as long as the hive is fine, unlike the case of mammals, where they must take care of their children until they reach the stage of reproduction. Well, now I can subtract the second axis of the answer, which is the reason for the development of bees so that they die when stung. In fact, there is a problem in presenting the idea here, if bees did not evolve to die after stinging, but the stinging process did not evolve against mammals and creatures with tough skin, but rather against other insects. This means that the bee can sting other insects several times without dying, but the skin of humans and other mammals is tough, which leads to the removal of the guts of the bee attached to the needle after stinging. 

The reason for the persistence of the phenomenon of death after stinging and the non-extinction of bees or their natural selection is due to the reproductive strategy of bees, as the death of individuals does not affect the genetic future of these individuals as long as the queen is fine. So, when the bee stings a human, its goal is not to carry out a suicide operation, but as a result of the development of its needle to defend against other insects, it does not help it in stinging creatures with tough skin like humans, but because of its reproductive strategy, its death does not affect the continuation of its offspring, and therefore there is no evolutionary pressure to change this feature. I do not have evidence, but it can be assumed that the evolution of human skin in this way is a kind of arms race in nature, since humans depended heavily on the theft of honey bees, and the development of skin that resists bee stings is a useful feature to the extent that it gives priority to survival over humans who have skin Less thickness ( just an assumption). 

Genetic persistence explains why bees are not deterred or extinct, although it is observed that other bees die after being stung by thick-skinned organisms. The goal of the bee is to defend the hive, not to defend itself, in order for its offspring to continue through the generations. Bees do not sting unless they feel a danger to the hive. The stinging process produces pheromones (a chemical signal) for all bees that are near the place that there is danger and that everyone must contribute to defending the hive. Bees in normal circumstances can sting without dying, and therefore when a decision is made to attack a mammal, for example, this decision is not a suicidal decision, but rather a defensive decision that results in the death of bees as a result of the thickening of the skin. But because some people suffer from the problem of anthropocentrism, it has become prevalent to assume that bees die when they sting anything. Bees die because of the thickening of human skin, but they can sting other creatures several times without dying. 


The name “queen bee” is an inaccurate designation and does not describe the work of this bee? The queen has one goal in life, which is to lay eggs and take care of them, while the members of the cell protect them and prevent them from moving in order to continue to procreate. Practically the queen is captive of the cell and is the only one unable to move because she must continue to produce and incubate eggs.In the event that the incubator “queen” begins to fail in its work in producing eggs, the members of the cell lay a new queen and then kill the old one.

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