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Modeling Site-Selection for Honeybee Swarms

Event Detail

Event Type: 
Mathematical Biology Seminar
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 08:00 to 09:00
ROG 440

Speaker Info

Local Speaker: 

 In the late spring and early summer, honeybees swarm for the
purpose of selecting a new home.  They engage in a decision-making process,
a "Honeybee Democracy" as Thomas Seeley has called it, during which the
swarm's scout bees examine the surrounding area for new sites and report back on
quality and location.  The process continues until a sufficient number of scouts
agree on a site.  A swarm is remarkably effective in choosing the best site when
many are available.  In this talk I will introduce a stochastic site-selection
model incorporating ideas from random walk and branching process models, allowing
for dependence based on the populations of bees advocating for potential sites.