A model is presented showing that natural selection operating at the individual level can adequately explain the evolution of multiple mating behavior by honey bee queens. Group selection need not be invoked. The fitness of a given female genotype is a function of the number of sex alleles in the population, the number of matings by an individual female and the specific parameters that determine the relationship of brood viability to individual fitness. Even though the exact relationship is not known, it is almost certainly not linear. A nonlinear relationship between worker brood viability and fitness and a significant genetic load associated with the sex-determination system in honey bees are the essential components of this model.
- Received September 21, 1979.