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Insects 2017, 8(1), 31;

Bee++: An Object-Oriented, Agent-Based Simulator for Honey Bee Colonies

Department of Applied Mathematics, Western University, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada
Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Steven Cook and Jay Daniel Evans
Received: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
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We present a model and associated simulation package ( to capture the natural dynamics of a honey bee colony in a spatially-explicit landscape, with temporally-variable, weather-dependent parameters. The simulation tracks bees of different ages and castes, food stores within the colony, pollen and nectar sources and the spatial position of individual foragers outside the hive. We track explicitly the intake of pesticides in individual bees and their ability to metabolize these toxins, such that the impact of sub-lethal doses of pesticides can be explored. Moreover, pathogen populations (in particular, Nosema apis, Nosema cerenae and Varroa mites) have been included in the model and may be introduced at any time or location. The ability to study interactions among pesticides, climate, biodiversity and pathogens in this predictive framework should prove useful to a wide range of researchers studying honey bee populations. To this end, the simulation package is written in open source, object-oriented code (C++) and can be easily modified by the user. Here, we demonstrate the use of the model by exploring the effects of sub-lethal pesticide exposure on the flight behaviour of foragers. View Full-Text
Keywords: agent-based simulation, honey bees, Apis melliflora, population dynamics, colony collapse disorder agent-based simulation, honey bees, Apis melliflora, population dynamics, colony collapse disorder

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Betti, M.; LeClair, J.; Wahl, L.M.; Zamir, M. Bee++: An Object-Oriented, Agent-Based Simulator for Honey Bee Colonies. Insects 2017, 8, 31.

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