The assumption that all the members of a social Hymenopteran colony are closely related has been challenged by the discovery of queens mating with more than one male. This study used the microsatellite locus B10 to determine the frequency of colonies with multiple patrilines in a previously unexamined group, the North American bumble bees (Bombus). Five of twelve species tested showed at least one incidence of polyandry. Four species from the subgenus Pyrobombus had at least one colony with more than one father. One species from the socially parasitic subgenus Psithyrus had broods with more than one father. One Bombus perplexus colony had at least two matrilines. The microsatellite locus B10 showed high cross-species amplification success in the North American sample.
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA