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The Population Dynamics of the Honey Bee
in the Hive and in the Wild

Through the following series of activities, you will learn more about honey bees, their hive dynamics, and how the Africanized honey bee has come to dominate large areas in the Americas.
  1. Sizing up the Population

    Before we can study any model of a population, we must first devise a method for assessing the size of a population. In these activities, you will count honey bees on a frame. If you wish, you can continue to learn about census techniques for other types of populations.

  2. Practical Knowledge of European and Africanized Honey Bees

    Our familiarity with the honey bee gives us a practical curiosity for them. Now that fraction of the southern United States is populated by the Africanized honey bee, we must add some scientific knowledge to our practical information.

  3. Hands on Models of Population Dynamics

    The expontenial and the logistic curves have seen ubiquitous application in describing the trends in a population. Because their apprearance is so widespread, the mechanisms that result in these two types of curves must have an elegant description. The activities here use beads and styrofoam cups to simulate these population trends.

  4. A Month in the Hive

    Now that we have studied general models in population dynamics, the time has come to develop a model that specifically addresses the aspects of the biology of bees. We begin by building a flow chart to describe the dynamics and then turn this flow chart into mathematical expressions.

  5. A Year in the Hive

    Now that we have developed a model, we can use the model to make predictions on the population dynamics in a hive and to see how bees respond to a variety of environments and to a variety of environmental crises.

  6. Birth, Death, and Migration

    Like erery other creature, bees must from time to time search for new habitats. In these activities, we will use remote sensing technology to estimate the progress of the Africanized bee population spread throughout Arizona. This model was developed by James H. Matis, T. R. Kiffe, and G. W. Otis.

We have included some additional links to help you with these activities.

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