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Division of labor between scouts and recruits in honeybee foraging

Summary

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.

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Seeley, T.D. Division of labor between scouts and recruits in honeybee foraging. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 12, 253–259 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00290778

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00290778

Keywords

  • Large Majority
  • Combine System
  • Forage Availability
  • Honeybee Colony
  • Good Forage