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Why Ants Do but Honeybees Do Not Construct Satellite Nests


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  • Janet Landa


  • Gordon Tullock


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    Synopsis: Ants and honeybees are both social insects that share many characteristics in common. But there is a fundamental difference between ants and bees. Ants can and do construct main nests with satellite nests, whereas bees construct only a main nest with no satellite nests. In this paper we explain the difference between the socio-economic organization of ants and bees: ants can identify nest-mates from satellite nests because ants leave odor trails connecting main nests to satellite nests so that fellow nest-mate from satellite nests smell the same. Bees, on the other hand, cannot leave odor trails in the air, and hence are unable to identify bees from another nest; bees from another nest with different pheromone smells are stung to death by guard bees in the main nest. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Bioeconomics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 151-164

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:5:y:2003:i:2:p:151-164

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    Keywords: cooperation; eusociality; ethnic trade networks; identity; institutions; odor paths; path dependency; pheromone; social insects; socio-economic organization; super-colony;


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    Cited by:
    1. Alberto Battistini & Ugo Pagano, 2008. "Primates’ fertilization systems and the evolution of the human brain," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, April.
    2. Eric Nævdal, 2008. "Animal rationality and implications for resource management: the case of biological reserves for moose and pine," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 145-163, August.
    3. Janet Landa, 2012. "Gordon Tullock’s contributions to bioeconomics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 203-210, July.


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