(Part 16 of 25 in series, M. Eades' Blog)
The cell membranes of both young and old honey bee queens are highly monounsaturated with very low content of polyunsaturates. Newly emerged workers have a similar membrane fatty acid composition to queens but within the first week of hive life, they increase the polyunsaturate content and decrease the monounsaturate content of their membranes, probably as a result of pollen consumption. This means their membranes likely become more susceptible to lipid peroxidation in this first week of hive life. The results support the suggestion that membrane composition might be an important factor in the determination of maximum life span.
~ Michael Eades