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BeeDanceGap SIGNED

Honeybee communication: animal social learning at the height of social complexity

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 BeeDanceGap project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the BeeDanceGap project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "BeeDanceGap" about.

bee    territory    ecological    centralized    celebrated    understand    social    complexity    ecology    societies    unrivaled    ranges    tractable    diverse    ultimate    sciences    pollinator    proximate    honeybees    colonies    never    vertebrate    language    analyze    place    disciplinary    foraging    dances    animal    profile    kingdom    fundamental    shifts    world    secondly    eusocial    emerge    pressing    cutting    molecular    transcriptomics    elicit    uniquely    laboratory    central    deep    mechanisms    hive    location    tools    network    powerful    flow    differently    diversity    overwhelming    decline    delve    learning    drivers    contribution    individuals    free    communication    replicate    generation    journey    natural    takes    networks    vast    unrecognized    food    global    living    dance    perspectives    drives    groups    integrates    security    edge    hard    sophisticated    profiles    simply    firstly    risk    honeybee    expression    brain    track    gene    group    colony    gain    imposing    models    theme   

Project "BeeDanceGap" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: EGHAM
postcode: TW20 0EX

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙422˙010 €
 EC max contribution 1˙422˙010 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-02-01   to  2021-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
2    QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON UK (LONDON) participant 54˙884.00
3    UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON UK (LONDON) participant 24˙862.00
4    UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS UK (LEEDS) participant 21˙961.00
5    UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL UK (BRISTOL) participant 0.00


 Project objective

Learning from others is fundamental to ecological success across the animal kingdom, but a key theme to emerge from recent research is that individuals respond differently to social information. Understanding this diversity is an imposing challenge, because it is hard to replicate the overwhelming complexity of free-living groups within controlled laboratory conditions. Yet here I propose that one of the most complex social models that we know of— the sophisticated eusocial societies of honeybees— offer unrivaled and yet unrecognized potential to study social information flow through a natural group. The honeybee “dance language” is one of the most celebrated communication systems in the animal world, and central to a powerful information network that drives our most high-profile pollinator to food, but bee colonies are uniquely tractable for two reasons. Firstly, next-generation transcriptomics could allow us to delve deep into this complexity at the molecular level, on a scale that is simply not available in vertebrate social systems. I propose to track information flow through a natural group using brain gene expression profiles, to understand how dances elicit learning in the bee brain. Secondly, although bee foraging ranges are vast and diverse, social learning takes place in one centralized location (the hive). The social sciences now offer powerful new tools to analyze social networks, and I will use a cutting-edge network-based modelling approach to understand how the importance of social learning mechanisms shifts with ecology. In the face of global pollinator decline, understanding the contribution of foraging drivers to colony success has never been more pressing, but the importance of the dance language reaches far beyond food security concerns. This research integrates proximate and ultimate perspectives to produce a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program; a high-risk, high-gain journey into new territory for understanding animal communication.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Harry Siviter, Mark J. F. Brown, Ellouise Leadbeater
Sulfoxaflor exposure reduces bumblebee reproductive success
published pages: 109-112, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0430-6
Nature 06/09/2018 2019-05-29
2018 Ash E. Samuelson, Ellouise Leadbeater
A land classification protocol for pollinator ecology research: An urbanization case study
published pages: 5598-5610, ISSN: 2045-7758, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4087
Ecology and Evolution 8/11 2019-05-29
2018 Ash E. Samuelson, Richard J. Gill, Mark J. F. Brown, Ellouise Leadbeater
Lower bumblebee colony reproductive success in agricultural compared with urban environments
published pages: 20180807, ISSN: 0962-8452, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0807
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285/1881 2019-05-29
2018 Harry Siviter, Julia Koricheva, Mark J. F. Brown, Ellouise Leadbeater
Quantifying the impact of pesticides on learning and memory in bees
published pages: , ISSN: 0021-8901, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13193
Journal of Applied Ecology 2019-05-29
2017 Ash Samuelson, Ellouise Leadbeater
Foraging by Honeybees
published pages: 1-9, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_918-1
Encyclopaedia of Animal Cognition and Behaviour 1/1 2019-05-27
2017 Ellouise Leadbeater, Erika H. Dawson
A social insect perspective on the evolution of social learning mechanisms
published pages: 7838-7845, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620744114
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114/30 2019-05-27

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