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For Immediate Release: March 8, 2012
Susan Joslin, (508) 289-7281; sjoslin@mbl.edu

Animal Behaviorist to Discuss Democratic Debate Among Honeybees at MBL Falmouth Forum, March 30

Jean Nordhaus
WOODS HOLE, MA—Dr. Thomas Seeley, a world authority on animal behavior, especially the social behavior of honey bees, will present the final lecture of the MBL Falmouth Forum of the season on Friday, March 30th at 7:30 pm at Falmouth High School, 874 Gifford Street, Falmouth. His talk, "Honeybee Democracy," is free and the public is welcome.

This final lecture of the 2011-2012 MBL Falmouth Forum series is being co-sponsored with The 300 Committee Land Trust, Falmouth. The 300 Committee is a private, non-profit land trust that, since 1985, has helped preserve more than 2,300 acres throughout Falmouth for conservation, recreation and water protection.

Professor Seeley will describe how honeybees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together—as a swirling cloud of bees—to their new home. He will illustrate how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years. Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Dr. Seeley's pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house-hunting and democratic debate among honeybees.

Dr. Thomas Seeley is a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, where he teaches courses in animal behavior and does research on the functional organization of honeybee colonies. He began keeping and studying bees while a high school student, when he brought home a swarm of bees in a wooden box. He went away to college at Dartmouth and on to graduate school at Harvard University where he studied under two ant men (Drs. Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson), began his research on bees in earnest, and earned his Ph.D. Dr. Seeley has received the Senior Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His publications include in three books: Honeybee Ecology, The Wisdom of the Hive, and Honeybee Democracy.

For more information about the Falmouth Forum, visit mbl.edu/falmouthforum or contact the MBL Communications Office at: (508) 289-7423; comm@mbl.edu. Important Note: Due to renovations being done to the MBL’s Lillie Auditorium this winter, the season’s final lecture will be held at Falmouth High School.


The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in 1888 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MBL is an independent, nonprofit corporation.

The MBL Associates are a group of individuals and businesses that support the scientific mission of the MBL through their gifts to the Annual Fund. The Associates sponsor educational and research programs for the MBL and raise funds for special projects. In addition, they operate the MBL Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific fellowships.