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Why Ants Do but Honeybees Do Not Construct Satellite Nests

  • Janet Landa


  • Gordon Tullock


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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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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