Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 253–259 | Cite as

Division of labor between scouts and recruits in honeybee foraging

  • Thomas D. Seeley


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.


Large Majority Combine System Forage Availability Honeybee Colony Good Forage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas D. Seeley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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