Deciding on a New Home: How Do Honeybees Agree?

Proc Biol Sci. 2002 Jul 7;269(1498):1383-8. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2002.2001.


A swarm of honeybees (Apis mellifera) is capable of selecting one nest-site when faced with a choice of several. We adapt classical mathematical models of disease, information and competing beliefs to such decision-making processes. We show that the collective decision may be arrived at without the necessity for any bee to make any comparison between sites.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bees / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Female
  • Models, Biological
  • Nesting Behavior / physiology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Time Factors