Foraging in the social insects can be viewed as a provisioning process, in which workers are powered by one resource (e.g. nectar) to deliver another (e.g. pollen) for the colony. The rate of delivery of a resource depends on the number of workers and how hard they work, which may depend on self-feeding rate. Whether individuals sacrifice their own foraging efficiency in favour of colony performance is unclear, as theory and experiment have not yet properly addressed these issues.
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