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Title: Consensus building in giant Asian honeybee, 'Apis dorsata', swarms on the move
Contributor(s): Makinson, James C (author); Schaerf, Timothy  (author)orcid ; Rattanawannee, Atsalek (author); Oldroyd, Benjamin P (author); Beekman, Madeleine (author)
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.04.029
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Abstract: Many animals move in groups, but the mechanisms by which a group of animals form a consensus about where to move are not well understood. In honeybees group movement generally falls into two behavioural categories: reproductive swarming and colony migration. In both contexts the bees use the dance language to decide on a location to move to. During reproductive swarming bees choose between and dance for multiple discrete locations before departing towards one of them. In contrast, during migration bees select a single direction in which to fly, but information with respect to distance is highly variable. In this study we show that swarms of the giant Asian honeybee, 'Apis dorsata', when placed in a novel environment rapidly reach a general consensus on a single patch within the environment in a fashion similar to relocating swarms of the red dwarf honeybee, 'Apis florea'. In the three swarms used in this study the patches for which bees danced prior to the swarm departing corresponded to a stand of trees. One of our swarms showed a dance pattern consistent with long-distance migration: dances during the final 15 min preceding swarm departure indicated a wide range of distances but a uniform direction. Unlike previous descriptions of migrating swarm behaviour, the direction indicated by dances on this swarm changed throughout the decision-making process. Our other two swarms landed within the canopy of the trees in the patches for which they danced in the last 15 min and then presumably searched the surrounding area for a specific location in which to construct their new comb.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/DP130101670
Source of Publication: Animal Behaviour, v.93, p. 191-199
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Place of Publication: London, United Kingdom
ISSN: 1095-8282
Field of Research (FOR): 060801 Animal Behaviour
060201 Behavioural Ecology
010202 Biological Mathematics
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970101 Expanding Knowledge in the Mathematical Sciences
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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