Essay on How Honeybees Choose a Nest Site

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INTRODUCTION An interesting question that scientists and philosophers have studied for hundreds of years is how large groups come together to make a common decision. This process is called social choice. The main aspect about social choice that has been addressed is how multiple choices of individuals in a group become one preference for the entire group. The main groups that have been studied in regard to social choice are human groups, and how we have developed a voting system to choose one outcome over many other alternatives. Humans are not the only group that participates in social choice. This also occurs in different animal groups, but has not been studied as long as social choice in human groups. In particular, the…show more content…
The position of the straight run and the specific number of waggles performed by the bee indicates the location of the possible nest site. Linduer also discovered that at first, the scout bees perform waggle dances to many different nest sites. However, ultimately, all of the scouts perform the waggle dance for just one particular site. Furthermore, it was also found that the site that is ultimately chosen by the scouts is generally the best site out of the possible sites the bees have found (Seeley and Buhrman 2001). One question of the process is how the bees eventually all perform the same waggle dance. For this to happen, the scouts that dance for sites that are not chosen have to stop their dances for them. It is unknown what makes the bees stop dancing for the sites that are not chosen. There are two hypotheses for this question. The first hypothesis is that the reason the bees stop dancing for sites is because they are influenced by the dances of other bees. This assumption is based on Lindeur’s study. He found that the dances of scout bees for poorer sites are easily changed into dances for better sites. The other hypothesis comes from the studies of Lindeur (1955), Seeley and Buhrman (1999), and Camazine et al. (1999). It may be that scouts stop performing waggle dances for inferior sites without being swayed by the dances of other bees. This may be because it was found that the bees perform longer dances when they begin

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