INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES FISICAS DE MAR DEL PLATA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Honeybees colony virtual simulation
M. MIGUELES; L. GENDE; L. DEFEUDIS; P. A. MACRI; M. CHURIO; M. EGUARAS; L. A. BRAUNSTEIN
Congreso; 3er Congreso Argentino de Bioinformática y Biología Computacional; 2012
In eusocial insect colonies, as honeybees, many tens of thousands of workers can livetogether as a regulated superorganism. These colonies are characterized by division oflabour: specialization of individual workers for particular tasks. Honeybees have developedcollective food acquisition methods to provide themselves with nutrients. They split the foodgathering task into a variety of subtasks performed by different individuals. Foragers searchfor food sources, collect food, and transport it to the nest, where it is processed and storedby other groups of workers. The aim of this work was to develop a software, called BeEp,which asserts a causal relationship between honeybees age, task performance, populationand food balance. We describe a novel multi-agent model (MAMS) that focuses on thedynamic task selection of honeybees. The behavior of the complete system was directlyreproduced by simulating the actions of the individuals. Our simulation was intended to modelall the important aspects of a bees life inside the hive. We assume differentiation amongcastes (workers, drones, queen). Queen is the only one who is in charge to deposit their eggsin empty cells. Workers bees are physiologically and morphologically identical; we emphasizethe differentiation among these according to age and therefore their activity in the colony.This includes individual development from egg to adult and adult performing tasks such asbrood tending (nursering), storage nectar-pollen (storing), as well as, collection of nectarpolen(foraging). The software also considers transformation of the nectar in honey. Adultbees of all ages satisfy their energy demands by consuming stored nectar (honey) or by beingfed by other adults. The larvae (brood) must be fed by nurses bees. We have simulatedhoneybees colony of 2000 individuals in 4 frames for the term of 365 days, maintainingnutrition and population balance. The software consists of multiple parallel programs that runsynchronized: GoReporter, details the statistics of the simulation, BeTV allows following thesimulation in one computer that runs on another computer with better operationalcharacteristics. BeEp also generates an event monitor, which shows step by step theprogress of the simulation. The software works on a colony simulation performed by multiplecomputers in parallel (clusters), this reduces dramatically simulation times. In parallel wemade experiments with real honeybees in mini colonies to validate the simulation. We plan toutilize our model for additional studies such us: beekeeping epidemics, pollination and honeyproduction.