In many non-deterministic search algorithms, particularly those analogous to complex biological systems, there are a number of inherent difficulties, and the Bees Algorithm (BA) is no exception. The BA is a population-based metaheuristic search algorithm inspired by bees seeking nectar/pollen. Basic versions and variations of the BA have their own drawbacks. Some of these drawbacks are a large number of parameters to be set, lack of methodology for parameter setting and computational complexity. This paper describes a Grouped version of the Bees Algorithm (GBA) addressing these issues. Unlike its conventional version, in this algorithm bees are grouped to search different sites with different neighbourhood sizes rather than just discovering two types of sites, namely elite and selected. Following a description of the GBA, the results gained for 12 well-known benchmark functions are presented and compared with those of the basic BA, enhanced BA, standard BA and modified BA to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed algorithm. Compared to the conventional implementations of the BA, the proposed version requires setting of fewer parameters, while producing the optimum solutions much more quickly.
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