Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 211–215

Self-organization of circadian rhythms in groups of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

  • Robin F. A. Moritz
  • Per Kryger

DOI: 10.1007/BF00167746

Cite this article as:
Moritz, R.F.A. & Kryger, P. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1994) 34: 211. doi:10.1007/BF00167746


Workers in social groups of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) synchronize their individual free-running circadian rhythms to an overall group rhythm. By monitoring the activity of bees by recording the oxygen consumption and intragroup temperature, it is shown that the rhythm coordination is in part achieved by temperature fluctuations as an intragroup Zeitgeber. Trophallaxis was shown to have only a minor (if any) effect on circadian rhythm synchronization. A model incorporating a feed back loop between temperature and activity can plausibly explain the observed synchronization of individual rhythms in social groups as a self-organization phenomenon.

Key words

Apis mellifera Circadian rhythm Synchronization Temperature Zeitgeber 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin F. A. Moritz
    • 1
  • Per Kryger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für BiologieTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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