$10 – $20

Tom Seeley: The Beehive as Information Center

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Ed Roberts Campus

3075 Adeline Street

Berkeley, CA 94703

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Hosted by the Mt. Diablo Beekeepers Association with Alameda County Beekeepers Association

About this Event

There's plenty going on inside that hive. Honey bees have a complex and well-ordered society that is ruled by the best interests of the colony as a whole. Find out how bees communicate with each other, sharing information about what's going on inside the hive and outside in the world, and how they cooperate to make the best decisions.

Thomas D. Seeley, a biology professor at Cornell, has spent his life observing and explaining the activities of honey bees. He's studied how a honey bee colony allocates foragers to efficiently gather enough food with the right nutritional mix.

He identified "swarm intelligence," the way that a group of tiny-brained insects merges and processes their knowledge to identify the best site for a new colony—and he showed that they hold a democratic debate to choose their new living quarters.

His talk will focus on how a honey bee colony solves the highly dynamic problem of keeping its foragers optimally allocated among the flower patches that its scouts have found. He calls the bees' solution to this problem the "Honey Bee Algorithm," and says humans use the same logic for allocating server computers (analogous to worker bees) among web sites (analogous to flower patches) around the world.

Seeley has found more analogies between honey bee colonies and the human brain. He shows that humans can learn from the humble honey bee how to collaborate and make better group decisions.

His latest research examines how feral honey bee colonies survive without being treated for varroa mites. He hopes this work will help beekeepers develop sustainable, pesticide-free approaches to beekeeping.

His talk will help beekeepers better understand what's going on in the "mind" of the hive. It will inspire people interested in the psychology of human organizations, intrigue math junkies and interest anyone who wants to know more about these vital pollinators.

Professor Seeley is the author of five books, including The Wisdom of the Hive and Honeybee Democracy.

Members of the Mt. Diablo Beekeepers Association and the Alameda County Beekeepers Association receive a discounted price of $10, but these tickets are limited and will only be sold until March 26.

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Ed Roberts Campus

3075 Adeline Street

Berkeley, CA 94703

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