Home BlogData Visualization Visualizing Social Distancing in Honey Bees Hives

Visualizing Social Distancing in Honey Bees Hives

by Morgan Stevens
Data viz on honey bee social distancing

The Economist has created a series of visualizations showing how honey bees practice social distancing when infected with the Varroa destructor parasitic mite. In the healthy hive, forager bees responsible for finding food, which are shown in blue, mingle freely with bees responsible for grooming, which are shown in yellow. In the infected hive, forager bees remain near the entrance to prevent spreading the parasite to the center of the hive, where younger bees and larvae reside, while grooming bees congregate near the center to focus parasitic removal efforts on larvae. The Varroa destructor parasitic mite cannot reproduce without bee larvae, so social distancing efforts to protect and care for larvae effectively stop infections from spreading. 

Take a look.

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