Free access
Volume 35, Number 2, March-April 2004
Information flow and group decision making in social bees
Page(s) 143 - 157
Apidologie 35 (2004) 143-157
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004003

Information flow and organization of stingless bee foraging

Jacobus C. Biesmeijer and E. Judith Slaa

Neurobiology and Behavior, Seeley G. Mudd Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14850, USA
(Received 1st August 2003; revised 16 October 2003; accepted 15 December 2003)

Abstract - Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) live in populous permanent colonies and face the same problem as other foraging social insects: how to coordinate the worker's actions and respond to the spatio-temporal uncertainties of food availability in their habitat. Here we review the (social) information used by individual foragers and how organized collective foraging emerges from the individual actions. We also address intra- and interspecific competition for food and the impact of the African honey bee on stingless bee collective foraging.

Key words: Melipona / Trigona / self-organization / communication / foraging / Africanized honeybee / insect society

Corresponding author: Jacobus C. Biesmeijer

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004