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Mathematical Modelling and Simulation of Honey Bee Colony Behaviour

Honey bees live in a socially structured society or colony that is made up of tens of thousands of individual bees. The colony is often considered as a single entity or superorganism, often described as having a 'hive mind'. The behaviours of the individuals in a hive contribute to its overall behaviour as a colony entity. Computer simulation can be used to investigate how simple behaviours performed by individuals can be linked to the patterns of behaviour that can be observed at colony level.

D. J. T. Sumpter and D. S. Broomhead have been investigating the effect of individual bee behaviour on colony thermoregulation.

We have also been working on models of honey bee foraging and the population dynamics of the parsitic mite Varroa.

The following pages detail different aspects of the project:

The Honey Bee:

Basic facts about the Honey Bee
The Varroa Mite
Bee related WWW Sites

Computer Simulation:

Introduction to Multi Agent Simulation
Simulations of Honey Bee Behaviour
Simulation related WWW Sites

Papers and Reports

Click here for full list

Most of the work on this project is being done by David Sumpter. It is supervised by Professor David Broomhead and funded by a CASE studentship from EPSRC and the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

For more information contact: David Sumpter (

Originated... ?? MM 2004, Revised... dd mm 2004,
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