HMC BeeLab

In the Bee Lab at Harvey Mudd College, we use biology, math, CS & engineering to study how groups of bees (and ants!) evolve to coordinate group behavior.

In the Bee Lab at Harvey Mudd College, we study more than just bees. We're interested in how groups of animals evolve to coordinate behavior. Honey bees, for example, search out flowers and use their famous dance to tell nestmates where to go. By recruiting more bees to the best flowers, dancing helps the group collect food more efficiently. Using mathematical models, computer simulation, and lab and field experiments with bees and ants, we explore how communication shapes collective behavior.

Operating as usual

03/05/2024

Here's the second student blog post about keeping a natural history notebook. This week, Josie writes about how she started out *looking* for birds -- but found that *listening* (along w/ Merlin Bird ID app) was more fruitful! https://hmcbee.blogspot.com/2024/03/the-nature-symphony.html

06/09/2023

Pollen: it makes you sneeze, it gets on bees' knees, but if you look up close it can unlock mysteries! Learn more about the amazing structural diversity of pollen & how we can use it to solve a variety of problems in Zach's new blog post: https://hmcbee.blogspot.com/2023/06/zooming-in-on-pollen.html

05/26/2023

The premise of the new zombie show The Last Of Us is that the zombie-ant fungus has evolved as a result of climate change to infect humans. How realistic is this? Read more in Ruby's new blog post "Ants and the Apocalypse" https://hmcbee.blogspot.com/2023/05/ants-and-apocalypse.html (Photo: Alex Wild)

Bio, Math, CS, and… Econ? 04/18/2023

What does this equation have to do with shopping? Both involve tradeoffs! What seemed at first to be impenetrable became approachable when lab member Yuki realized she could apply ideas from economics to learn about how ants choose among food sources: https://hmcbee.blogspot.com/2023/04/bio-math-cs-and-econ.html

Bio, Math, CS, and… Econ? A blog about social insect behavior, especially ants & honeybees, including field ecology, computer vision, and mathematical and simulation models.

01/11/2023

It's easy enough for a human to spot a black ant, walking around on a white branch... but how do computers do it? In the latest HMC Bee Lab blog post, Daniela explains how our ant tracking software detects ants using computer vision, via Python's OpenCV module: https://hmcbee.blogspot.com/2022/12/ant-detection-in-opencv.html

Bees Like Getting Flowers Too 11/22/2022

So you want to plant flowers to help the bees? 🌻🐝 Undergrad research student Sophie writes about our work trying to map the location & density of flowers -- a key step in optimizing those plantings so they can support bees of all stripes: https://hmcbee.blogspot.com/2022/11/bees-like-getting-flowers-too.html

Bees Like Getting Flowers Too A blog about social insect behavior, especially ants & honeybees, including field ecology, computer vision, and mathematical and simulation models.

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Videos (show all)

Ant tracking demo clip by Hayley
Turtle ants choosing a new nest

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301 Platt Boulevard
Claremont, CA
91711
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