How do social insects like bees and ants coordinate their activities, what chemical signals do they use to make it happen?

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How do social insects like bees and ants coordinate their activities, what chemical signals do they use to make it happen?

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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I made a little mobile game with ants as the enemies so I’ve gone down a few rabbit holes. I’m no expert, but this is how I’ve compartmentalized things:

Ants are basically just little robots with limited functions based on pheromones. They’ll leave a certain scent behind if they find food; the next ant basically just follows it, programmed to bring the food back.

This is also why if you cover an ant in the “this is dead, trash it” pheromone, its colony will bury it, regardless of if it’s fighting back.

I’m sure someone else has a more in depth answer, but to me they’re a bunch of little robots programmed for “If A, do B”.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They release special molecules called `pheromones`. But bees and ants use a wide variety of other methods to communicate: bees “dance” in the air to communicate where they’ve found food (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waggle_dance); ants use touch and sounds. Passing food (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trophallaxis) is also an important social tool for them.