Penn State

Christina M. Grozinger - Professor of Entomology, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Wisdom of the Hive: The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies

Author: Thomas Seeley

Book Description:

As an undergraduate and graduate student, I worked at the interface of chemistry and biology, seeking to use small molecules to study the function of proteins in humans. As a third year graduate student, I began considering options for my future independent career, and decided that I wanted to move into a system that had a wealth of unanswered questions that I could spend the rest of my life exploring. My brother was keeping honey bees, and would tell me fascinating stories about their complex social behavior. I thought that perhaps I could use some of the new molecular and genomic tools that were being developed to study the genes underlying these behaviors (and this has since become my research focus). However, since I knew very little about honey bees (or insects in general) at the time, I started reading broadly about their biology. One of the first books that I read was Tom Seeley's "The Wisdom of the Hive", and I was utterly captivated - not only by the amazing social behavior of bees, but also at the elegant and insightful experiments that Seeley designed to study them. This is truly marvelous book for anyone interested in honey bees or the approaches used by scientists to study complex systems.

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