Bees: navigation, communication and swarming


Bees: navigation, communication and swarming

Me marking scout Western hive bees (Apis mellifera)  for Schaerf et al. 2013.


My name is James, I am a post-doctoral research assistant in the Bee Sensory and Behavioural Ecology Lab at Queen Mary University of London. This is my personal website, a place where I can present what I am currently working on, as well as my research interests in general.

I'm fascinated by bees of all shapes and sizes, from the large and fluffy buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) of Europe to the beautiful but deadly giant Asian honey bees (Apis dorsata) of South East Asia. 

With nearly 20 000 different species ranging from the purely solitary to group-living eusocial societies, bees offer up a wealth of opportunities to perform comparative studies. In addition to this, due to the huge economic and cultural importance of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), and our growing understanding of the importance of solitary species, stingless bees, and bumblebees as crop pollinators, it is important for us to come to terms with the behaviour and life histories of any of these important creatures.


Male carder bee (Afranthidium repetitum)

Research interests

I am currently studying navigation and spatial memory in bumblebees at Queen Mary University of London. We are using harmonic radars to answer exciting questions about how these important pollinators make trade-offs between foraging, reproduction and nest-site selection.

An individually marked swarm or red dwarf honeybees (Apis florea)


Click here to find out more about my published work, as well as presentations and interviews that I have given in the past.

An Asian long-tailed climbing mouse (Vandeleuria oleracea)

Photos, videos and sounds

My work takes me to interesting parts of the world to work on a wide range of fascinating creatures. Follow the link above to experience some of them for yourself.