Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

Collaborating for group decisions: honeybees


Honeybee swarm / Waugsberg / LicenseGFDL - Gnu Free Document License

Honeybees collaborate when foraging, selecting a new hive through knowledge sharing.

"Researchers at the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, led by principal researcher Feniosky Pena-Mora, are looking at ways to improve human collaboration during disaster relief efforts. They are attempting to draw inspiration from the collaboration patterns that honeybees use in their decision-making process when selecting a new hive or foraging, ants' behavior when they are under threat, and how infectious diseases spread among human populations. The team includes biological, computer, and social scientists, and civil engineers. The team believes that civil engineers should be a fourth group of first-responders at disaster relief efforts involving critical physical infrastructures. The researchers will develop ad hoc communication networks to spread critical information among first responders, similar to how a virus spreads. Models of collaboration based on study of ants and bees may be useful in understanding the basic principles and best practices when developing strategies to coordinate knowledge sharing in chaotic social settings." (Courtesy of the Biomimicry Guild)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Improved communication and collaboration in disaster relief and response to epidemics.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Homeland security, disaster relief

Civil & Environmental Engineering
Feniosky A Pena-Mora
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Login to Post a Comment.
over 6 years ago
Thanks to Duarte Miguel Prazeres for finding and uploading these photos. I'm glad there are no sound effects!
1 to 1 of 1 Comments