TITLE: Apis melifera
CREATOR: Brian Kmetz and Cristiana Wilcoxon
Apis melifera (aka. The Honey Bee) is a specie of eusocial insects which has evolved a complex social structure predicated upon inclusive fitness and kin selection. As the only fertile member of the colony, queen bees bear the entire hive’s genetic information and are solely responsible for its perpetuation. Worker bees, being naturally sterile and therefore incapable of directly passing on their own genes, must indirectly safeguard their genetic line by ensuring the reproductive success of the queen. Thus the worker bee assumes the singular, obsessive purpose of maintaining and protecting the hive even at the expense of its own wellbeing. A worker bee displays extreme fanaticism in its protection of kin even going so far as to sacrifice its own life by attacking encroaching predators. This demonstrates how traits such as altruism and self-sacrifice can potentially be advantageous in the evolutionary process. As individual bees cannot be measured for fitness, fitness becomes a measure of the overall reproductive success of the entire colony, creating a set of conditions under which traits such as cohesion, organization, and cooperation are favored. Thus the honey bee’s sterility and fanatical devotion to the protection of the queen bee are not evolutionary anomalies but rather finely tuned traits which maximize the fitness of the specie as a whole.
Brian is a raving lunatic who spends a minimum of 6 hours a week searching for new patterns in Pascal’s Triangle; concurrently driving his friends mad with his incessant need to share every discovery. He makes everything into a puzzle and above all believes that: The virtue met, a swell fool losing unproven data is a proven hell.
Cristiana took her first photograph when she was eight and hasn’t put down a camera since. She writes and photographs for 7DeadlyMag, an Orange-County based online publication for the college academic. She enjoys improv comedy, blogging, and reading Batman-related graphic novels.