New Research Deepens Mystery About Evolution of Bees’ Social Behavior
A new study has mounted perhaps the most intricate, detailed look ever at the diversity in structure and form of bees, offering new insights in a long-standing debate over how complex social behaviors arose in certain branches of bees' evolutionary tree. The report offers strong evidence that complex social behavior developed just once in pollen-carrying bees, rather than twice or more, separately, in different evolutionary branches—but researchers say the case is far from closed.
Funeral or Feast: How Termites Manage Their Dead
In a colony of eastern subterranean termites, as many as 70,000 termites may die every day. Dealing with all those corpses is critical to colony health, and a new study reveals how the primary methods for termite undertakers—burying corpses or eating them—vary by caste.
How Ants’ Individual Encounters Influence Colony-Wide Behavior, and Vice Versa
A new review of ant research illuminates how ant behavior is driven by a cascade of individual decisions among colony members. Insights on ant movement and encounter rates also suggest parallels to collective behavior in another population under the microscope in 2020: humans.
Digging Deep: The Secrets Within Termite Nests
A researcher studying termites' digging techniques says that understanding individual roles in collective activities can shine a light on the evolution of such behavior and how social insects perform simple tasks to ultimately construct complex structures.