Free access
Volume 35, Number 2, March-April 2004
Information flow and group decision making in social bees
Page(s) 101 - 116
Apidologie 35 (2004) 101-116
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004004

Group decision making in nest-site selection by honey bees

Thomas D. Seeleya and P. Kirk Visscherb

a   Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
b   Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA

(Received 8 August 2003; revised 5 November 2003; accepted 30 November 2003)

Abstract - In recent years, renewed attention has been paid to the mechanisms of group decision making that underlie the nest-site selection process in honey bees. We review the results of these new investigations by discussing how the recent work builds on the earlier descriptive studies of this decision-making process, how the decision-making abilities of swarms have been tested, and how the mechanisms of this decision-making process have been experimentally analyzed. We conclude by discussing how the scouts in a swarm sense when their group decision making is coming to an end and so should begin stimulating their quiescent swarm-mates to prepare for the flight to their new home.

Key words: Apis mellifera / group decision making / honey bee / nest-site selection / swarming / waggle dance

Corresponding author: Thomas D. Seeley

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004