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Honey bees have taken social cooperation to the Extreme!


Honey bees have taken social behavior to the highest level seen in the animal world. Social cooperation to the Extreme!

Honey bees are eusocial, that means not just gregarious or semi social, but fully social. This is social behavior carried to the max! There are benefits to such social behavior: survival of the species, protection from predators, etc. Whenever Apis mellifera takes on a project, they show themselves to be masters of efficiency. Look at the geometry and efficient use of space in wax comb for another example. However, that’s a topic for another blog post, coming up soon.

Social behavior relies on reproductive division, division of labor, cooperative brood care, and overlapping generations. Honey bees improved on division of labor as used by other social insects by developing temporal polyethism. A worker performs many duties in its short lifetime, not in just chronological order but in the most efficient order.

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