Book review: The Spirit of the Hive
The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution (Harvard University Press)
In the beginning of year 2013 beekeeping community gain new book from author Robert E. Page Jr, The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution.
Let us remember you, in year 1901 philosopher Maurice Maeterlinck published his book The life of the Bee. He illuminated the whole life and society of the bee and he wondered, how thousand of social insects organize themselves. Now in 2013 Robert E. Page Jr demonstrated how science is answering that key question.
Example from book about simple question What cause honeybees to collect more or less pollen and nectar : “The actions bees take in turn alter the environment and so change the stimuli for their nestmates. For example, a bee detecting ample stores of pollen in the hive is inhibited from foraging for more, whereas detecting the presence of hungry young larvae will stimulate the pollen gathering. Division of labor, Page shows, is an inevitable product of group living, because individual bees vary genetically and physiologically in their sensitivities to stimuli and have different probabilities of encountering and responding to them.”
Page actually stands on the shoulders of acknowledging, bee genetics Harry Laidlaw. Harry unravelled many basic aspects of honeybee genetics.
This book will give you a new perspective on the social life of bees and we can already say that this will be beekeeping book of the year. It could be also great reading material for hot summer days.
Who is Robert E. Page Jr?
Robert E. Page Jr is a honey bee geneticist, former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. He is an author of more than 230 research papers and articles. Robert Page’s background is in behavior and population genetics and the current focus of his research is on the evolution of complex social behavior.
Source: Nature Journal (June 2013), entomology.ucdavis.edu, amazon.com and en.wikipedia.org