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Thomas Dyer Seeley

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Name  Thomas Seeley
Role  Author

Awards  Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences, US & Canada
Books  Honeybee Democracy, The wisdom of the hive, Honeybee ecology, The Five Habits of Highly Eff

Education  Harvard University (1978)

Thomas Dyer Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. He is the author of several books on honeybee behavior, including Honeybee Democracy (2010) and The Wisdom of the Hive (1995) He was the recipient of the Humboldt Prize in Biology in 2001.



Seeley was born on June 17, 1952. He went to elementary, middle and high schools in Ithaca, NY. He married Robin Hadlock Seeley and the couple had two children.


Seeley earned his A.B. (summa cum laude) in Chemistry from Dartmouth College in 1974 and, four years later, his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University.


Seeley held the following academic appointments:

Honors and awards

In 1966 Seeley was an Eagle Scout. In 1974 he received the Hartshorne Chemistry Medal from Dartmouth College. Four years later he was elected a Junior Fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows and in 1983 he was awarded the Morse Prize Fellowship from Yale University. For a year from 1992, he was a Guggenheim Fellow and then the next year got a Fellowship from Berlin’s Institute for Advanced Study. In 1994 he received the Hambleton Award from the Eastern Apicultural Society.

A species of bee was named after him Neocorynurella seeleyi in 1997 and a year later he received the Gold Medal for the Best Science Book, (The Wisdom of the Hive). Seeley received the Alexander von Humboldt’s Senior Scientist Prize in 2001 and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences that same year. In 2008 he was an elected fellow for the Animal Behavior Society and in 2013 he gave the keynote address at the 33rd International Apimondia Congress in Kiev.


Seeley wrote the following books: Honeybee Ecology: A Study of Adaptation in Social Life, published by Princeton University Press, The Wisdom of the Hive: The Social Physiology of Honeybee Colonies, published by Harvard University Press, the Honeybee Democracy, published by the Princeton University Press.


Thomas Dyer Seeley Wikipedia

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