Beekeeping-Talks of the “Wiener Bienenfachtagung 2019” – English Original, recorded Oct. 5th, 2019, in Vienna, Austria

(Link to German translations/Episode 49)

  • Part 1: How a swarm chooses its future home site
  • Part 2: Natural strategies of the bee colony to survive
  • Part 3: The bee colony as a honey factory

Bee talks. Information and conversations about bees, bee colonies, nature, honey and beekeeping. For beginners and professionals. From Vienna, Austria.

“Dr. Thomas D. Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University. He is based in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, where he teaches courses on animal behavior and does research on the behavior and social life of honey bees. His work is summarized in three books: Honeybee Ecology (1985), The Wisdom of the Hive (1995), and Honeybee Democracy (2010).”  – Cornell University.

Links: 

Wiener Bienenfachtagung 2019, Imkerschule Wien: https://imkerschule-wien.at/event/wiener-bienen-fachtagung-2019/

Thomas D. Seeley (Wikipedia): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Dyer_Seeley

Thomas D. Seeley (Cornell University): https://nbb.cornell.edu/thomas-seeley 

Department für Neurobiologie und Verhalten an der Cornell University: https://nbb.cornell.edu 

Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten von Thomas D. Seeley (Researchgate): https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thomas_Seeley

Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten von Thomas D. Seeley bis 2016 (Cornell University): http://pages.nbb.cornell.edu/seeleypub.shtml

Thomas D. Seeley auf Google Scholar:
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=LXqBqrYAAAAJ&hl=de&oi=ao

Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten von Thomas D. Seeley auf Plos One, (frei zugänglich):
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/search?q=thomas+seeley&filterJournals=PLoSONE

Thomas D. Seeley in Episode 19 des “Beekeeping Today”-Podcasts, 02/2019:
http://beekeepingtodaypodcast.com/dr-tom-d-seeley-honey-bees-in-the-wild-019

Thomas D. Seeley in Episode 16 des “Yale University Podcast Network”, 05/2019:
http://yalepodcasts.blubrry.net/2019/05/13/ep-16-thomas-seeley-on-the-lives-of-bees/

Links to Thomas Seeley’s Books at Amazon:
(Bienenpodcast Affiliate Links)

*** Englisch ***

Honeybee Democracy (Hauptwerk, 2010): https://amzn.to/31OF7N2 

Honeybees make decisions collectively–and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley’s pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.

In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together–as a swirling cloud of bees–to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader’s influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.

An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.

Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild (2019), €26,78: https://amzn.to/2oX67Lv 

Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. The Lives of Bees is Thomas Seeley’s captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside the beekeeper’s hive—and how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet’s managed honey bee populations.

Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, sheds light on why wild honey bees are still thriving while those living in managed colonies are in crisis. Drawing on the latest science as well as insights from his own pioneering fieldwork, he describes in extraordinary detail how honey bees live in nature and shows how this differs significantly from their lives under the management of beekeepers. Seeley presents an entirely new approach to beekeeping—Darwinian Beekeeping—which enables honey bees to use the toolkit of survival skills their species has acquired over the past thirty million years, and to evolve solutions to the new challenges they face today. He shows beekeepers how to use the principles of natural selection to guide their practices, and he offers a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees.

Engagingly written and deeply personal, The Lives of Bees reveals how we can become better custodians of honey bees and make use of their resources in ways that enrich their lives as well as our own.

Honeybee Ecology – A Study of Adaptation in Social Life (Hauptwerk, 1985), €26,44: https://amzn.to/2MlHUqC 

The book presents honeybees as a model system for investigating advanced social life among insects from an evolutionary perspective. Originally published in 1985. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Following the Wild Bees –  The Craft and Science of Bee Hunting (2019), €10,98: https://amzn.to/2VgeKgg 

Following the Wild Bees” is a delightful foray into the pastime of bee hunting, an exhilarating outdoor activity that used to be practiced widely but which few people know about today. Weaving informative discussions of bee biology with colorful anecdotes, personal insights, and beautiful photos, Thomas Seeley describes the history and science behind this lost pastime and how anyone can do it. The bee hunter’s reward is a thrilling encounter with nature that challenges mind and body while also giving insights into the remarkable behavior of honey bees living in the wild. Whether you’re a bee enthusiast or just curious about the natural world, this book is the ideal companion for newcomers to bee hunting and a rare treat for armchair naturalists.

The Wisdom of the Hive – The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies (Hauptwerk, 1995), €102,44: https://amzn.to/30LRqbu

This book is about the inner workings of one of nature’s most complex animal societies: the honey bee colony. It describes and illustrates the results of more than fifteen years of elegant experimental studies conducted by the author. In his investigations, Thomas Seeley has sought the answer to the question of how a colony of bees is organized to gather its resources. The results of his research–including studies of the shaking signal, tremble dance, and waggle dance, and other, more subtle means by which information is exchanged among bees–offer the clearest, most detailed picture available of how a highly integrated animal society works. By showing how several thousand bees function together as an integrated whole to collect the nectar, pollen, and water that sustain the life of the hive, Seeley sheds light on one of the central puzzles of biology: how units at one level of organization can work together to form a higher-level entity.

In explaining why a hive is organized the way it is, Seeley draws on the literature of molecular biology, cell biology, animal and human sociology, economics, and operations research. He compares the honey bee colony to other functionally organized groups: multicellular organisms, colonies of marine invertebrates, and human societies. All highly cooperative groups share basic problems: of allocating their members among tasks so that more urgent needs are met before less urgent ones, and of coordinating individual actions into a coherent whole. By comparing such systems in different species, Seeley argues, we can deepen our understanding of the mechanisms that make close cooperation a reality.