Behavioral and life-history components of division of labor in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Ernesto Guzmán-Novoa, Robert Page, Norman E. Gary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variability exists among worker honey bees for components of division of labor. These components are of two types, those that affect foraging behavior and those that affect life-history characteristics of workers. Variable foraging behavior components are: the probability that foraging workers collect (1) pollen only; (2) nectar only; and (3) pollen and nectar on the same trip. Life history components are: (1) the age the workers initiate foraging behavior; (2) the length of the foraging life of a worker; and (3) worker length of life. We show how these components may interact to change the social organization of honey bee colonies and the lifetime foraging productivity of individual workers. Selection acting on foraging behavior components may result in changes in the proportion of workers collecting pollen and nectar. Selection acting on life-history components may affect the size of the foraging population and the distribution of workers between within nest and foraging activities. We suggest that these components define possible sociogenic "pathways" through which colony-level natural selection can change social organization. These pathways may be analogous to developmental pathways in the morphogenesis of individual organisms because small changes in behavioral or life history components of individual workers may lead to major changes in the organizational structure of colonies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-409
Number of pages293
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

polyethism
Honey
Bees
labor division
honey
Plant Nectar
foraging behavior
Apis mellifera
bee
honey bees
nectar
life history
Pollen
foraging
pollen
social organization
Organizational Innovation
Genetic Selection
morphogenesis
Morphogenesis

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • Division of labor
  • Genetics
  • Social insects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Behavioral and life-history components of division of labor in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). / Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto; Page, Robert; Gary, Norman E.

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 34, No. 6, 06.1994, p. 117-409.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto ; Page, Robert ; Gary, Norman E. / Behavioral and life-history components of division of labor in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 1994 ; Vol. 34, No. 6. pp. 117-409.
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