Wisdom of the Hive by Thomas D. Seeley
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Wisdom of the Hive
By Thomas D. Seeley

The Wisdom of the Hive

The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies

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Format: Hardback

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Wisdom of the Hive by Thomas D. Seeley

Book Description

This book is about the inner workings of one of nature's most complex animal societies: the honey bee colony. It describes and illustrates the results of more than 15 years of experimental studies conducted by the author. In his investigations, Thomas Seeley has sought the answer to the question of how a colony of bees is organized to gather its resources. The results of his research - including studies of the shaking signal, tremble dance, and waggle dance, and other, more subtle means by which information is exchanged among bees - offer a clear and detailed picture available of how a highly integrated animal society works. By showing how several thousand bees function together as an integrated whole to collect the nectar, pollen, and water that sustain the life of the hive, Seeley sheds light on one of the central puzzles of biology: how units at one level of organization can work together to form a higher-level entity. In explaining why a hive is organized the way it is, Seeley draws on the literature of molecular biology, cell biology, animal and human sociology, economics, and operations research. He compares the honey bee colony to other functionally organized groups: multicellular organisms, colonies of marine invertebrates, and human societies. All highly cooperative groups share basic problems: of allocating their members among tasks so that more urgent needs are met before less urgent ones, and of coordinating individual actions into a coherent whole. By comparing such systems in different species, Seeley argues, we can deepen our understanding of the mechanisms that make close cooperation a reality.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674953765
ISBN-10: 0674953762
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 203mm x 32mm)
Pages: 318
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 7-Feb-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Thomas D. Seeley

Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley Honeybee Democracy, Hardback (September 2010)

Honeybees make decisions collectively - and democratically. This book reveals that these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. It presents an account of scientific discovery. It investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years.

Asian Honey Bees by Thomas D. Seeley Asian Honey Bees, Hardback (May 2006)

Provides a comparative work synthesising the Asian honey bee literature. After introducing the species, this work reviews evolution and speciation, division of labour, communication and nest defence. It aims to provide a cornerstone for investigations on these species, and insights into the evolution across species.

» View all books by Thomas D. Seeley


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Author Biography - Thomas D. Seeley

Thomas D. Seeley is Professor of Biology, Cornell University.

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