Recruitment

If a saucer of honey is placed outdoors, many hours or days may go by before a bee finds it and feeds on it. Soon after this first visit, however, large numbers of bees will arrive. Interest in honey bees goes back to prehistory, because their colonies provided human ancestors' most concentrated source of sugar. At least as far back as Aristotle, people have inferred that the bees that first discover a food source must recruit their nestmates to share in the collection of the food, thus accounting for the rapid buildup once a discovery has been made. The same kind of buildup occurs at flowers, bees' natural source of their sugary food.

Recruitment to food is one of the most important adaptations of nearly all social insects, and there are many forms of recruitment among them. Being able to recruit nestmates to food sources allows colonies of insects to realize one of the advantages of living in groups: the ability to harvest food that would not be as readily available to an individual foraging alone. Such edible items might include prey bigger than an individual could subdue, food resources that are rich but so widely scattered that an individual would not be likely to discover their source and sources that are ephemeral and thus more effectively harvested by means of group foraging during the short time the source is available. Cooperative foraging also is important to social animals in overcoming one of the inherent disadvantages of group living: since members of groups generally will compete with other members of the group for local food resources, without some compensating foraging advantage, solitary individuals would have better access to food than those in groups.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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