Thomas Seeley's research has focused on analyzing the collective intelligence and natural lives of honey bees. This account describes how the author encountered honey bees as a boy and became a beekeeper; how he switched his career path from medicine to biology to study the behavior and social life of honey bees; and how he focuses on understanding how a honey bee colony functions when it lives in the wild, rather than in a beekeeper's hive. He has shown how a honey bee colony works as a single decision-making unit to adaptively allocate its foragers among flower patches and to choose its nesting site in a hollow tree. These findings buttress the view that, in some social insect species, the colony is a group-level vehicle of gene survival. Beyond his research, he has written three books to synthesize these findings for biologists and share these discoveries with beekeepers.


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