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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous insight into the life of social insects
This book details how the author spent a lifetime 'reverse engineering' bee swarms and the way they choose their hives. It reveals some amazing insights into behaviour of the honeybee and social insects in general. It's fascinating that bees have a sophisticated democratic and innate decision making system that ensures their survival, lending further weight to the idea of...
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by Hashzilla

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting book but quite academic…more than I needed to know …something for the beekeeping intellectual.
Published 2 months ago by H. Johnson


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous insight into the life of social insects, 13 Feb 2011
By 
This book details how the author spent a lifetime 'reverse engineering' bee swarms and the way they choose their hives. It reveals some amazing insights into behaviour of the honeybee and social insects in general. It's fascinating that bees have a sophisticated democratic and innate decision making system that ensures their survival, lending further weight to the idea of group selection not just individual selection being a natural imperative.

Overview:
1. Hive splits and swarms.
2. Scouts spend next few days searching for suitable homes.
3. Scouts sense the quality of their findings and announce with waggle dances.
4. Other scouts are recruited to confirm quality and report back to the swarm.
5. A consensus on the swarm is reached by way of reaching quorum at the successful site.
6. Scouts then start piping to get all bees to warm their flight muscles to 35C.
7. Scouts then buzz run to launch the swarm.
8. Swarm then flies directly to site with scouts acting as navigators.

The details are marvelous. The adaptation of the bees' system for use in human decision making processes is derided by some but the idea is fascinating and worthy of exploration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting edge research from an expert, 1 Mar 2014
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Tom Seeley's book is a classic text it explains many features of swarm behaviour that was either previously suspected but not proven or completely unknown until he conducted his research. It goes into great depth but is written in a very friendly easy style that's a joy to read, it really is one of the best books on bee behaviour written in the last hundred years. For the beekeeper it provides invaluable insights into bee behaviour which can only assist in our efforts to understand this amazing little insect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book., 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
I have heard Thomas Seeley talk on two occasions and find his talks amazing, this book is everything I expected it to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retirement gift, 11 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
I bought this for a friend who retired. She has started Bee Keeping on her allotment so I thought it would be of interest to her. She was delighted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exellent publication., 18 May 2013
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This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
I have enjoyed reading the book and found it easy to read.Thorouly enjoyable.
Recommend this book to all serious beekeepers.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary book, 26 Aug 2011
This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
I keep recommending this book to everyone. The text is excellent, the pictures are excellent, the quality of the publishing is excellent. Thomas Seeley is a mix of passion, intelligence, precision, inspiration. We should all read this book so that hopefully bees help us to become a better society!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent on honeybees; less strong on humans, 29 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
This book sets out in the form of an integrated account the results of approaching 60 years of research on how honeybees choose sites for their hives. We learn what good sites are like (how big they should be, where they should be located, their physical characteristics), we learn how they are evaluated by scout bees (all scouts tend to assess sites similarly) and how those evaluations are communicated to fellow bees (through complex dances), we learn how a consensus emerges (through "decay" of enthusiasms and new converts to the best sites), and how bees head for the new site (scouts act as "streaker bees", leading the way).

This is a wonderfully adapted and effective system (though only 25% of new hives survive a winter in the wild) and we are all bound to think humans could learn a thing or two from the honeybee. The concluding chapters suggest analogies to decision-taking WITHIN primates, to New England Town Meetings, and to the way the author conducts faculty meetings at his university. The author is keen on "leaderless" decision-taking. This works fine for honeybees, where all bees think the same about what makes a good site for a hive. Is it good where creativity is required in decisions? (You want to invent the Walkman.) Is it good in politics (where people tend not to agree what makes for a just society)? What I wondered was about research on mating in humans - but this not covered.

So: this book is very strong on decision-taking in honeybees; and quite thought-provoking about decision-taking in human beings; but much less persuasive on the latter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Honeybee Democracy - Thomas D Seeley, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
Excellent book. Clearly written. Lots of diagrams and illustrations. Lots of carefully observed experiments to find out how/why honeybees swarm and how they decide on a new home. As new bee keepers we are keen to read as much as possible on the subject. This is of the best book we have found about this aspect of bee keeping.

Also recommend 'The Barefoot Bee Keeper' by Phil Chandler on the subject of Top Bar Bee Keeping.

Have ordered another book by Thomas D Seeley 'The Wisdom of the Hive' which is extra-ordinarily expensive. I've managed to get it cheaper but still a lot to pay. However if it is anything like this one, which I'm sure it will be, it will be worth every penny. I shall review that when I have read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
on time and useful
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4.0 out of 5 stars Honeybee Democracy, 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Honeybee Democracy (Hardcover)
This book arrived in good time and turned out to be a most informative read giving me much to share
with my fellow Apairist. It is well presented, but a little heavy to read on ones lap, it needs a cushion
to ease ones arms/
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Honeybee Democracy
Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley (Hardcover - 10 Oct 2010)
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