Bees are economically and ecologically important pollinating species. Managed and native bee species face increasing pressures from human-created stressors such as habitat loss, pesticide use, and introduced pathogens. There has been increasing attention towards how each of these factors impacts fertility, especially sperm production and maintenance in males. Here, we turn our attention towards another important factor impacting phenotypic variation: genetics. Using honey bees as a model, we explore the current understanding of how genetic variation within and between populations contributes to variation in sperm production, sperm maintenance, and insemination success among males. We conclude with perspectives and future directions in the study of male fertility in honey bees and non-Apis pollinators more broadly, which still remain largely understudied.


This article is published under a CC-BY license.

Slater, G.P.; Smith, N.M.A.; Harpur, B.A. Prospects in Connecting Genetic Variation to Variation in Fertility in Male Bees. Genes 2021, 12, 1251. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081251


Honey bee; spermatogenesis; male fertility

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