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Research Project: Managing Honey Bees Against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Found in Translation: Social thoughts

item Evans, Jay

Submitted to: Bee Culture
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2021
Publication Date: 9/5/2021
Citation: Evans, J.D. 2021. Found in Translation: Social thoughts. Bee Culture. 8:28-29.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Honey bees, like other social insects, think both for themselves and for their colonies. All animals have a degree of awareness of their surroundings and most find a need to communicate within their species. Honey bees carry this to an extreme in that they must be highly communicative in the colony, and highly coordinated with their nestmates. How these social pressures shape the bee brain is a fascinating topic and one that has practical implications for beekeepers. To cut to the chase, honey bees are really VERY smart for an insect. You might predict that an organism with tens of thousands of others backing them up would get a little soft in the head. In fact, by conventional metrics the honey bee brain is remarkable, if a little skewed towards memory and communication.