How Honey Bees Keep the Hive Cool on Hot Days

February 5, 2019
Bee Sensor courtesy of Jacob Peters

Prof. L. Mahadevan and Postdoc, Jacob Peters (PhD '18, Mahadevan Lab) have developed a framework that explains how bees use environmental signals to collectively cluster and continuously ventilate the hive. The study published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface looked at European honey bees (Apis mellifera), which live in large congested nest cavities with a single opening that limits passive ventilation. When the temperature is too elevated, the bees self-organize to form groups that station at the nest entrance and actively ventilate the nest by fanning their wings.  Media: SEAS News


Image: Bee Sensor courtesy of Jacob Peters


See also: Faculty News, 2019