how do they know about behavioural caste systems (not physical morphs) in eusocial insects? Do they open up the wasp nest and look (sounds invasive) or are there other ways to experiment to confirm caste behaviour is happening?

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how do they know about behavioural caste systems (not physical morphs) in eusocial insects? Do they open up the wasp nest and look (sounds invasive) or are there other ways to experiment to confirm caste behaviour is happening?

In: Biology

What is often done is that the researchers make the insects build a hive with a transparent wall set up by the researchers. They can for example trap wasps in an environment they control and the only logical place to build a nest is next to a pane of glass. This allows the researchers to look into the hive whenever they want and even set up cameras to constantly monitor how the insects behave in their hive. This gives them plenty of data to analyze and come up with various theories such as behavioral caste systems. They can then come up with techniques to test their theories and monitor the results.