Beehive scale-free emergent dynamics

28 Nov 2023  ·  Ivan Shpurov, Tom Froese, Dante R. Chialvo ·

It has been repeatedly reported that the collective dynamics of social insects exhibit universal emergent properties similar to other complex systems. In this note, we study a previously published data set in which the positions of thousands of honeybees in a hive are individually tracked over multiple days. The results show that the hive dynamics exhibit long-range spatial and temporal correlations in the occupancy density fluctuations, despite the characteristic short-range bees' mutual interactions. The variations in the occupancy unveil a non-monotonic function between density and bees' flow, reminiscent of the car traffic dynamic near a jamming transition at which the system performance is optimized to achieve the highest possible throughput. Overall, these results suggest that the beehive collective dynamics are self-adjusted towards a point near its optimal density.

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