How much and how can the queen bee condition sperm according to, for example, their different genetic origin? Can a queen favor a specific male? Does it have neuronal mechanisms that allow an immediate selective advantage of this type? A plausible possibility is that, once the unwanted sperm are discarded, the queens try to equalize and equalize the contribution of the drones, regardless of the amount of “donated” sperm. A further step in the genetic strategy of “genotype reshuffling” which results in a general increase in genetic diversity in the offspring (Ratnieks, 1996), to benefit the performance of the colony. Several studies have, in fact, verified that, in the distribution of the patrilineal colonies, none is able to monopolize the distribution in the offspring, and this even in the face of considerable quantitative differences of ejaculated sperm (Schluns, 2005). Queen bees would have an active role in trying to balance and equalize the contribution of each kelp in fertilization, precisely with the preservation and management of sperm. In most animal species the females express power of choice with respect to the types of male (Cordero, 1995), in the bees the strategy is opposite. In the fray of fertilization, queen bees do not have enough time to collect information about their partners (specific qualities, resistance to diseases, etc.). For this reason, they first collect an excessive amount of sperm as varied as possible, of the different male genotypes, and then rebalance its contribution in the spermatheca thanks to the “mixing of the genotype”.
The impressive specificities if not uniqueness of the complex genetic/reproductive system of the hive not only arouse admiration and amazement but clearly indicate that we do not indulge in foolish and mystifying simplifications. Only if and when we know how to take due account of the complexity of the genetic phenomena that characterize the hive, we can hope to play a positive role for bees, beekeeping and the future.