Division of labor between scouts and recruits in honeybee foraging
- Cite this article as:
- Seeley, T.D. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1983) 12: 253. doi:10.1007/BF00290778
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The proportion of a honeybee colony's foragers which locate forage patches by independent scouting, as opposed to following recruitment dances, varies between about 5 and 35%, depending on forage availability. Experienced foragers scout more than do novice foragers. The cost of finding a forage patch is greater for recruits than scouts, but the patches found by recruits are evidently superior to those found by scouts. The honeybee's combined system of recruitment communication, scout-recruit division of labor, and selectivity in recruitment, apparently enhances a colony's overall foraging efficiency by guiding a large majority of a colony's foragers to good forage patches.