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Colonial living is characterized by division of labor and finely coordinated organization; however, many events within a colony are the result of conflicts between individuals seeking to maximize their own interests. This interplay of cooperation and conflict has raised many questions in evolutionary biology, especially how cooperative behavior is maintained in the absence of direct reproduction by workers. How, then, is this behavior passed on? Authors Crozier and Pamilo's analyze the genetic basis of the patterns of reproduction and resource allocation found in social insect colonies - bees, wasps, ants, and termites. This comprehensive study has greater depth and insight than any previous work, and is a significant step forward in the fields of social evolution and population genetics.