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EEB Fall 2016 Seminar Series – Thomas Seeley
November 7, 2016 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Title: “Collective intelligence in honey bees: How a swarm of bees chooses its home’ [summary]
Speaker: Thomas D. Seeley, Cornell University
Hosted by Juliana Rangel
Refreshments at 3:15
With the right organization, a group can overcome the cognitive limitations of its members and achieve a high collective IQ. To understand how to endow groups with collective intelligence, it is useful to examine natural systems that have evolved this ability. An excellent example is a swarm of honey bees solving the life-or-death problem of choosing a new home. A bee swarm accomplishes this through a process that was discovered in Germany in the 1940s, and that has been analyzed more deeply in recent years. It includes collective fact-finding, open sharing of information, vigorous debating, and fair voting by the 300-500 bees in a swarm that function as nest-site scouts.