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Remembrances of a Honey Bee Biologist

Authors
  • Seeley, Thomas D.
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Jan 07, 2022
Volume
67
Pages
13–25
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ento-033121-100228
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Thomas Seeley's research has focused on analyzing the collective intelligence and natural lives of honey bees. This account describes how the author encountered honey bees as a boy and became a beekeeper; how he switched his career path from medicine to biology to study the behavior and social life of honey bees; and how he focuses on understanding how a honey bee colony functions when it lives in the wild, rather than in a beekeeper's hive. He has shown how a honey bee colony works as a single decision-making unit to adaptively allocate its foragers among flower patches and to choose its nesting site in a hollow tree. These findings buttress the view that, in some social insect species, the colony is a group-level vehicle of gene survival. Beyond his research, he has written three books to synthesize these findings for biologists and share these discoveries with beekeepers.

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