Thursday, January 05, 2012


How Honeybees Break a Decision-Making Deadlock

"For a honeybee swarm of potentially thousands of individuals, choosing a home is a momentous decision. Failing to choose a single location may cause the swarm to split and the queen to be lost (1); choosing poorly may limit the swarm's growth or expose it to freezing temperatures during the winter (2). Studies over the past 60 years have shown that honeybee swarms use quorum sensing, a form of decentralized decision-making, to choose a suitable nest site, but many gaps remain in our understanding of this process. [...] Seeley et al. (3) show that an inhibitory signal between bees advocating different locations allows them to make a decision even when potential nest sites are equally favorable." See full perspective @ Science. Se all the target article:

Seeley et al [2012]. "Stop Signals Provide Cross Inhibition in Collective Decision-Making by Honeybee Swarms". Science 6: 108-111.

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