The rise to royalty: How worker wasps balance specialization and plasticity

An international team of biologists and theoretical physicists from Dresden (Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems), Cambridge, UK (Babraham Institute) and Athens (B.S.R.C. "Alexander Fleming") has tackled this paradox using experiments on paper wasps. Paper wasps are social insects that display societal division of labor, with some insects specializing in foraging and other tasks (workers) while a single insect becomes the queen that specializes in producing offspring.