Large bee swarms choose wiser
Bees surprise us actually every day even when are faced with the problem of finding a good site to establish a new colony. When looking for a new home large bee swarms make the design more frequently so they can make a better choice than small ones. This kind of collective decisions is effective at least by social insects.
In the difficult collective decision for a new nesting site more swarms of bees may be right more often than smaller ones. This is not due to the higher “intelligence” of the colony, but to the higher number of bees who can make more decisions. The Australian biologists report in the “Journal of the Royal Society Interface.”
However according to earlier computer simulations small swarms have in comparing to large an advantage when it came to choose between two potential nest sites, because their behavior should be more flexible, writes Timothy Schaerf from the University of Sydney.
This theoretical advantage of the smaller swarms is based in large part on the assumption that potential nesting sites are found within a certain time interval.
The more nesting sites, the greater the advantage
The researchers examined the results of their simulations on two groups of swarms of eight times 5000 and 15,000 bees.
While both swarm sizes met in their decision-making about the same speed video observations showed the same differences in the floor, which had arisen in the simulations: in the large colonies bees danced significantly faster and took more information on nesting sites. Whether this actually leads to better decisions, but the researchers have not yet examined it.