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Wild colonies of honey bees hold the key to improving the health of the managed colonies kept by beekeepers, according to Thomas D. Seeley, the Horace White Professor in Biology, in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell. Why do wild honey bee colonies thrive while those of beekeepers often suffer high mortality? What new insights have scientists gained about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees, by looking at how they live in nature?

Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, answers these questions as he presents "The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild" (Princeton University Press, 2019) in a Chats in the Stacks book talk at Mann Library in March 2020. He also discusses a new approach to beekeeping—“Darwinian Beekeeping”— whereby beekeepers can revise their practices to make the lives of their six-legged partners less stressful and therefore more healthful.

Dr. Seeley is a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His previous books include the “Wisdom of the Hive” (awarded the 1998 Gold Medal Book Award from Apimondia) and the widely acclaimed titles "Honeybee Democracy" (2010) and "Following the Wild Bees" (2016). “The Lives of Bees” was recognized as a finalist for the PROSE Award in Popular Science and Popular Mathematics by the Association of American Publishers.