Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Sophie Cardinal and Bryan Danforth (3CPG member) recently published a paper in PNAS that provides the first, robust estimate of phylogeny in the largest bee family, Apidae. The family Apidae is an important bee group because it includes the honey bee, the most important managed pollinator. Over 30% of apid species and over 50% of apid tribes are cleptoparasites that do not build nests or collect pollen. Instead, females enter the nests of other bees and lay their eggs, much in the same way that cuckoo birds do. Their results resolve for the first time the relationships among the cleptoparasitic lineages and provide a robust framework for investigating the evolution of other traits, including sociality.
Link to Cornell Chronicle Press Release 9/13/2010