Reduction of Foraging Work and Cooperative Breeding

Hiroshi Toyoizumi*, Jeremy Field

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using simple stochastic models, we discuss how cooperative breeders, especially wasps and bees, can improve their productivity by reducing foraging work. In a harsh environment, where foraging is the main cause of mortality, such breeders achieve greater productivity by reducing their foraging effort below full capacity, and they may thrive by adopting cooperative breeding. This could prevent the population extinction of cooperative breeders under conditions where a population of lone breeders cannot be maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biotheoretica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun


  • Cooperation
  • Cooperative breeding
  • Division of work
  • Foraging
  • Reduction of foraging work
  • Survivorship insurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Philosophy
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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