The Wisdom of the Hive

  title={The Wisdom of the Hive},
  author={Thomas D Seeley},
  • T. Seeley
  • Published 31 December 1995
  • Philosophy

Do honey bee species differ in the odometer used for the waggle dance?

This study determined the calibration curves for foragers of the two Asian honey bee species, A. florea and A. cerana, in two different natural environments with clear differences in the vegetation conditions and hence visual contrast and found that the dense vegetation condition (with higher contrast) elicited a more rapid increase in the waggle phase duration with distance than the sparse vegetation in A.Florea.

Honeybee foragers adjust crop contents before leaving the hive

Upon leaving the hive, foragers carry a small amount of honey, which they subsequently consume to generate energy for flight. We investigated the relationship between waggle-phase duration and crop

Does a polyandrous honeybee queen improve through patriline diversity the activity of her colony’s scouting foragers?

It is shown how a honeybee colony’s scouting effort is (and is not) enhanced when extremely polyandrous queens produce genetically diverse colonies.

Ants under crowded conditions consume more energy

This study highlights the importance of social space and shows that constraints on social space can significantly affect colony behaviour and energy use in ants and the implications of the findings regarding social insects in general are discussed.

Does plastic comb foundation hinder waggle dance communication

Ces dernieres annees les fondations en plastique se sont largement repandues chez les apiculteurs, mais aucune etude n'a ete faite pour savoir si elles genaient le recrutement en reduisant la

The adaptive value of inactive foragers and the scout-recruit system in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies

A simple and tractable mathematical model was developed to study the relationship between nectar availability, the efficiency of the honey bee’s recruitment system, and the optimal proportion of scouts that maximizes net gain (benefit cost), or, energetic efficiency (benefit/cost 1).

Optimal timing of comb construction by honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies: a dynamic programming model and experimental tests

  • S. Pratt
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 1999
The temporal pattern of construction predicted by the model – pulses of building coincident with periods of nectar intake and comb fullness – matches that seen in an actual colony observed over the course of an entire foraging season, and indicates the onset and duration of comb-building bouts appear to be under partially independent control.

Modelling collective foraging by means of individual behaviour rules in honey-bees

The significance of the following issues is discussed: the role of internal and external information, source profitability, the spatial precision of the dance communication, the ability to search for a source after the source position has been transmitted, the tendency to abandon a deteriorated source, and the concepts of scout, recruit, (un)employed forager, and foraging history.

The control of water collection in honey bee colonies

It is found that a water collector's ease of unloading does indeed change when her colony's need for water changes, and this study provides a clear example of the way that the members of a social insect colony can use indirect indicators of their colony's labor needs to adaptively control the work that they perform.

The honey bee’s tremble dance stimulates additional bees to function as nectar receivers

This study demonstrates that a honey bee colony is able to rapidly and strongly alter its allocation of labor to adapt to environmental changes, and it further documents one of the communication mechanisms underlying this ability.



Regulated Nectar Harvesting by the Honeybee

Foragers from hives with more comb were less likely to collect food of lower sugar concentration; however, when they did collect it, they were more likely to perform recruitment dances upon their return to the hive.

The “shaking” of worker honeybees by other workers

Regulation of division of labor in insect societies.

A key feature of the division of labor in insect colonies is its plasticity, which enables it to continue to grow, develop, and ultimately produce a new generation of reproductive males and females despite changing colony conditions.

The regulation of comb building in honey bee colonies

  • Senior honors thesis, Division of Biological Sciences, Cornell University.
  • 1991

Reproductive Harmony via Mutual Policing by Workers in Eusocial Hymenoptera

Examination of the cause-effect relationship between queen mating frequency and worker policing indicates that worker policing is caused by queen polyandry but thatworker policing is unlikely to cause polyandries, although it may help stabilize it if police workers show behavioral dominance.

The Influence of Various Physical and Biological Factors of the Environment on Honeybee Activity. An Examination of the Relationship between Activity and Nectar Concentration and Abundance

From the data at present available it appears correct to conclude tentatively that nectar concentration decides in the first instance which species of plant will be visited in preference to others in flower at the same time, and thatnectar abundance then determines the proportion of the foraging population of a colony which will work the flowers in question.

WHAT MAD PURSUIT. A Personal View of Scientific Discovery.

The Gossip Test, The Baffling Problem, Rocking the Boat, and The a Helix: How to Live with a Golden Helix are among the topics covered in this book.

Über die Auswirkung der Futterplatzqualität auf die Schallerzeugung im Werbetanz der Honigbiene (Apis mellifica)

  • Zoologischer Anzeiger 26(suppl.):302–309.
  • 1963

Army Ants: A Collective Intelligence

The honey bee as a model kin recognition system