Honeybee colony size triggers reproduction

Honeybee reproductive cycles begin when the colony grows to a certain size.

Cornell University researchers found honeybee workers only began building the large cells of the drone comb — a special comb used to rear male honeybees — when the colony reached about 4,000 members.

The study manipulated colony features, such as number of workers, total area of the worker comb, size of the honey stores, while keeping other features identical.

The research, which was published in Naturwissenschaften - The Science of Nature, could be relevant to other social systems where group members adjust their behaviour depending on group size.

Read more at Cornell University