Economic Optimisation in Honeybees: Adaptive Behaviour of a Superorganism

  • Ronald Thenius
  • Thomas Schmickl
  • Karl Crailsheim
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4095)


A honeybee colony has to work highly efficient to survive. Most of a honeybee’s energetic demands are satisfied by consuming carbohydrates which are collected by forager bees in form of nectar from flowering plants. The storage of this nectar is performed by another specialised group of bees. The size of the two workgroups (foragers and receivers) are precisely regulated by dances performed by forager bees, a process that represents adaptive behaviour of a superorganism. We implemented these mechanisms in a simulation of a honeybee colony to investigate the possible advantages of bigger colonies in nectar foraging.


Adaptive Behaviour Colony Size Behavioural State Honeybee Coloni Nectar Source 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Thenius
    • 1
  • Thomas Schmickl
    • 1
  • Karl Crailsheim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for ZoologyKarl-Franzens University, GrazGrazAustria

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