Nest Site Choice in Social Insects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

25 Scopus citations


House-hunting is among the most challenging tasks faced by an insect society. Working under time pressure, the group must choose a site based on multiple criteria important to their future success. They must reach consensus on a single site and coordinate the colony's move without the benefit of well-informed leaders. Instead, they rely on a network of individuals applying appropriate rules to limited information. Common themes of these rules are strategic delays to improve accuracy and 'polling' of nestmates to coordinate decisions. These mechanisms provide insights into the general issue of how a colony acts as a collective intelligence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Animal Behavior
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780080453378
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Algorithm
  • Apis mellifera
  • Collective decision-making
  • Comparative evaluation
  • Consensus
  • Emigration
  • Nest site selection
  • Quorum sensing
  • Rationality
  • Recruitment
  • Speed/accuracy tradeoff
  • Tandem run
  • Temnothorax
  • Transport
  • Waggle dance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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