Behaviour 2019
Reproductive signaling in bees – The mighty queen, the power of peers and the role of brood  
Etya Amsalem. Department of Entomology, Center for Chemical Ecology, Center for Pollinator Research, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States

Pheromones inducing sterility in the worker caste of social insects are one of the greatest puzzles in social evolution since they seemingly negate the worker reproductive interests and evolved in the absence of a shared interest between the producer and the receiver of the signals - a situation which calls for additional mechanisms ensuring signal honesty. While the role of the queen in regulating worker reproduction has grabbed most of the attention in selected model organisms, the roles of chemical signals produced by other players, such as the brood and nestmates, were poorly studied. 
Bumble bees are primitively eusocial insects that go through several social organizations, allowing the unique opportunity to study changes in regulatory patterns of reproduction as the colony develops. I will discuss some of latest progress in the study of reproductive division of labor in bumble bees. Particularly, the regulation of reproduction by multiple players in the colony (queen, nestmates and brood), the interplay between the use of behavioral and chemical means to control reproduction, and the importance of social context in preventing cheating.