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The Wisdom of the Hive

The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies By Thomas D. Seeley

This book is about how a colony of honey bees works as a unified whole. Attention will be concentrated on the mechanisms of group integration underlying a colony’s food-collection process, an aspect of colony functioning which has proven particularly open to experimental analysis. Everyone knows that individual bees glean nectar from flowers and transform it into delicious honey, but it is not so widely known that a colony of bees possesses a complex, highly ordered social organisation for the gathering of its food. This rich organisation reflects the special fact that in the case of honey bees natural selection acts mainly at the level of the entire colony, rather than the single bee. A colony of honey bees therefore represents a group-level unit of biological organisation. By exploring the inner workings of a colony’s foraging process, we can begin to appreciate the elegant devices that nature has evolved for integrating thousands of insects into a higher-order entity, one whose abilities far transcend those of the individual bee.

The Wisdom of the Hive

The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies

By Thomas D. Seeley

Publisher

Harvard University Press

Year

1995

Edition

1st Edition

Binding

Hardback

Pagination

295

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