Welcome to the Nieh Lab

Lab Publications
James Nieh
Please note: The copyright of these articles (with the exception of Open Access articles) is with their respective publishers. By downloading an article, you agree to limit the use of the pdf file to printing of single copies for personal research and study. You may not modify the files in any way, or to use them for commercial purposes.

Learn more about the study of Animal Behavior at UCSD.


Li, J., Wang, Z., Tan, K., Qu, Y., and Nieh JC (accepted) Effects of natural and synthetic alarm pheromone and individual pheromone components on foraging behavior of the giant Asian honey bee, Apis dorsata. Journal of Experimental Biology.

Li, J., Wang, Z., Qu, Y., and Nieh J.C. (accepted) Giant Asian honey bees use olfactory eavesdropping to detect and avoid ant predators. Animal Behaviour.

Tan, K., Chen, W., Dong, S., Liu, X., Wang, Y., and Nieh. J.C. (2014) Imidacloprid alters foraging and increases risky behavior in bees. PLOS One. 9(7): e102725.

Nieh, J. C. (2014) Review: The spirit of the hive: the mechanisms of social evolution, by Robert E. Page, Jr. Quarterly Review of Biology

Lichtenberg, E., Graff Zivin, J., Hrncir, M. and Nieh, J. C. (2014) Eavesdropping selects for conspicuous signals. Current Biology. 24(1): R598-R599. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.05.062

Goodale, E., Kim, E., Nabors, A., Henrichon, S., and Nieh, J. C. (2014). The innate responses of bumble bees to flower patterns: separating the nectar guide from the nectary changes bee movements and search time. Naturwissenschaften. DOI 10.1007/s00114-014-1188-9.

Bray, A. and Nieh, J. C. (2014) Non-consumptive predator effects shape honey bee foraging and recruitment dancing. PLoS ONE. 9(1) e87459, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087459.

Tan, K., Hu, Z., Chen, W., Wang, Z., Wang, Y., and Nieh, J. C. (2013) Fearful foragers: honey bees tune colony and individual foraging to multi-predator presence and food quality. PLoS ONE. 8(9) e75841, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0075841.

Hagbery, J. and Nieh, J. C. (2012) Individual lifetime pollen and nectar foraging preferences in bumble bees. Naturwissenschaften. DOI 10.1007/s00114-012-0964-7. 99:821-832.

Goodale, E. and Nieh, J. C. (2012) Public use of olfactory information associated with predation in two species of social bees. Animal Behaviour. 84:919-924.

Eckles, M. A., Roubik, D. W. and Nieh, J. C. (2012) A stingless bee can use visual odometry to estimate both height and distance. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215:3155-3160.

Eiri D, Nieh JC (2012) A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist affects honey bee sucrose responsiveness and decreases waggle dancing. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215:2022-2029.

Nguyen H, Nieh JC (2012) Colony and individual forager responses to food quality in the New World bumble bee, Bombus occidentalis. Journal of Insect Behavior. 25:60-69.

Nieh JC (2012) Animal Behavior: The orphan rebellion. Dispatch for Current Biology 22(8) R280-281

Wade Robinson J, Nieh JC, Goodale E (2012) Testing honey bee avoidance of predators: teaching the scientific process through an engaging field experiment. The American Biology Teacher. 74(7):452-457.

Contrera FAL, Couvillon MJ, Nieh JC (2012) Editorial: Hymenopteran collective foraging and information transfer about resources. Psyche, Article ID 273985, 2 pages, doi:10.1155/2012/273985



Lichtenberg EM, Hrncir M, Turatti IC, Nieh JC (2011) Olfactory eavesdropping by two competing stingless bee species. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65:763-774

Sadler N, Nieh JC (2011) Honey bee forager thoracic temperature inside the nest is tuned to broad-scale differences in recruitment motivation. Journal of Experimental Biology 214:469-475

Sánchez D, Nieh JC, Vandame R (2011) Visual and chemical cues provide redundant information in the multimodal recruitment system of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona mexicana (Apidae, Meliponini). Insectes Sociaux 58:575-579.

Wade Robinson J, Nieh JC, and Goodale E (2011) Pollinators in Peril: A High School Curriculum. In this 84 page document, the authors (a high school teacher at San Diego High Tech High, a UCSD faculty member, and a postdoctoral researcher) create a high school science curriculum that addresses three National Science Standards (Inquiry, Life Science, and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives). This single file contains the entire curriculum, including powerpoint presentations. The individual files are also available on Jesse Wade Robinson's website and on the Nieh lab's Teaching Bee website. This project was made possible by a Blasker Science and Technology grant from the San Diego Foundation and partially funded by the National Science Foundation.

Contrera FAL, Couvillon MJ, and Nieh JC (2011) Hymenopteran group foraging and information transfer about resources. Editorial introducing a special issue of Psyche: in press, DOI:10.1155/2011/392075.

Suwannapong G, Benbow ME, and Nieh JC (2011) Biology of Thai honey bees: natural history and threats. In: Bees: Biology, Threats, and Colonies. Editor: R. M. Florio, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., in press, ISBN#: 978-1-61324-825-6.

Nieh JC (2011) The evolution of honey bee communication: learning from Asian species. Formosan Entomologist 31:101-115.

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Johnson BR, Nieh JC (2010) Modeling the adaptive role of negative signaling in honey bee intraspecific competition. Journal of Insect Behavior 23: 459-471

Ramírez SR, Nieh JC, Quental TB, Roubik DW, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL, Pierce NE (2010) A molecular phylogeny of the stingless bee genus Melipona (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56: 519-525

Nieh JC (2010) A negative feedback signal is triggered by peril and curbs honey bee recruitment. Current Biology 20: 1-6

Goodale E, Beauchamp G, Magrath R, Nieh JC, Ruxton GD (2010) Interspecific information transfer influences animal community structure. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(6):354-361.

Lichtenberg EL, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL, Nieh JC (2010) Behavioral suites mediate group-level foraging dynamics in communities of tropical stingless bees. Insectes Sociaux 57: 105-113

Lau CW, Nieh JC (2010) Honey bee stop-signal production: temporal distribution and effect of feeder crowding. Apidologie 41: 87-95

Nieh JC (2010) Review of bumblebees: behavior, ecology, and conservation. Second Edition, by Dave Goulson. Quarterly Review of Biology, 85(3): 373

Rasmussen C, Nieh JC, Biesmeijer JC (2010) Editorial: Foraging biology of neglected bee pollinators. Psyche, Article ID 134028, 2 pages, doi:10.1155/2010/134028

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Hammer TJ, Hata C, Nieh JC (2009) Thermal learning in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 3928-3934

Sánchez D, Nieh JC, León A, Vandame R (2009) Food recruitment information can spatially redirect employed stingless bee foragers. Ethology 115: 1175-1181

Nieh JC (2009) Convergent evolution of food recruitment mechanisms in wasps and bees. In: Gadau J, Fewell J (eds) Organization of Insect Societies: From Genome to Sociocomplexity. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. pp. 264-286

Toda NRT, Song J, Nieh JC (2009) Bumblebees exhibit the memory spacing effect. Naturwissenschaften 96: 1185-1191

Kuhn-Neto B, Contrera FAL, Castro MS, Nieh JC (2009) Worker body size affects intraspecific foraging range in a highly social bee. Apidologie 40: 472-480. DOI: 10.1051/apido/2009007

Lichtenberg EM, Hrncir M, Nieh JC (2009) A scientific note: foragers deposit attractive scent marks in a stingless bee that does not communicate food location. Apidologie 40: 1-2

Kitaoka TK, Nieh JC (2009) Bumble bee pollen foraging regulation: role of pollen quality, storage levels, and odor. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63: 501-510

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Renner MA, Nieh JC (2008) Bumble bee olfactory information flow and contact-based foraging activation. Insectes Sociaux 55: 417-424

Mapalad KS, Leu D, Nieh JC (2008) Bumble bees heat up for high quality pollen. Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 2239-2242

Eckles MA, Wilson EE, Holway DA, Nieh JC (2008) Yellowjackets (Vespula pensylvanica) thermoregulate in response to changes in protein concentration. Naturwissenschaften 95: 787-792

Sánchez D, Nieh J, Vandame R (2008) Experience-based interpretation of visual and chemical information in Scaptotrigona mexicana (Apidae, Meliponini). Animal Behaviour 76: 407-414

Contrera FAL, Nieh JC (2007) Effect of forager-deposited odors on the intra-patch accuracy of recruitment of the stingless bees Melipona panamica and Partamona peckolti (Apidae, Meliponini). Apidologie 38: 584-594

Contrera FAL, Nieh JC (2007) The effect of ambient temperature on forager sound production and thoracic temperature in the stingless bee, Melipona panamica. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 61: 887-897

Nieh JC, León A, Cameron S, Vandame R (2006) Hot bumblebees at good food: thoracic temperature of feeding Bombus wilmattae foragers is tuned to sucrose concentration. Journal of Experimental Biology 209: 4185-4192

Wilson EE, Holway D, Nieh JC (2006) Cold anaesthesia decreases foraging recruitment in the New World bumblebee, Bombus occidentalis. Journal of Apicultural Research 45: 169-172

Nieh JC, Kruizinga K, Barreto LS, Contrera FAL, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL (2005) Effect of group size on the aggression strategy of an extirpating stingless bee, Trigona spinipes. Insectes Sociaux 52: 1-8

Nieh JC, Sánchez D (2005) Effect of food quality, distance and height on thoracic temperature in the stingless bee Melipona panamica. The Journal of Experimental Biology 208: 3933-3943

Saraiva AM, Nieh JC, Cartolano EA Jr. (2005) EthoLog: a tool for data studies. In press

Contrera FAL, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL, Nieh JC (2004) Temporal and climatological influences on flight activity in the stingless bee Trigona hyalinata (Apidae, Meliponini). Revista de Tecnologia e Ambiente, Criciúma 10: 35-43.

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Nieh JC (2004) Recruitment communication in stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini). Apidologie 35: 159-182

Nieh JC, Barreto LS, Contrera FAL, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL (2004) Olfactory eavesdropping by a competitively foraging stingless bee, Trigona spinipes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 271: 1633-1640

Nieh JC, Contrera FAL, Yoon RR, Barreto LS, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL (2004) Polarized short odor-trail recruitment communication by a stingless bee, Trigona spinipes. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 56: 435-448

Sánchez D, Nieh JC, Hénaut Y, Cruz L, Vandame R (2004) High precision during food recruitment of experienced (reactivated) foragers in the stingless bee Scaptotrigona mexicana (Apidae, Meliponini). Naturwissenschaften 91: 346-349

Nieh JC, Contrera FAL, Nogueira-Neto P (2003) Pulsed mass-recruitment by a stingless bee, Trigona hyalinata. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 270: 2191-2196

Nieh JC, Contrera FAL, Ramírez S, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL (2003) Variation in the ability to communicate 3-D resource location by stingless bees from different habitats. Animal Behaviour 66: 1129-1139

Nieh JC, Contrera FAL, Rangel J, Imperatriz-Fonseca VL (2003) Effect of food location and quality on recruitment sounds and success in two stingless bees, Melipona mandacaia and Melipona bicolor. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 55: 87-94

Nieh JC, Ramírez S, Nogueira-Neto P (2003) Multi-source odor-marking of food by a stingless bee, Melipona mandacaia. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 54: 578-586

Nieh JC, Tautz J (2000) Behavior-locked signal analysis reveals weak 200-300 Hz comb vibrations during the honeybee waggle dance. Journal of Experimental Biology 203: 1573-1579

Nieh JC, Tautz J, Spaethe J, Bartareau T (2000) The communication of food location by a primitive stingless bee, Trigona carbonaria. Zoology 102: 239-246

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Nieh JC (1999) Stingless-bee communication. American Scientist 87: 428-435

Nieh JC (1998) The food recruitment dance of the stingless bee, Melipona panamica. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 43: 133-145

Nieh JC (1998) The honey bee shaking signal: function and design of a modulatory communication signal. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 42: 23-36

Nieh JC (1998) The role of a scent beacon in the communication of food location in the stingless bee, Melipona panamica. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 43: 47-58

Nieh JC, Roubik DW (1998) Potential mechanisms for the communication of height and distance by a stingless bee, Melipona panamica. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 43: 387-399

Nieh JC, Roubik DW (1995) A stingless bee (Melipona panamica) indicates food location without using a scent trail. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 37: 63-70

Nieh JC (1993) The stop signal of honey bees: Reconsidering its message. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 33: 51-56

Runestad JA, Ruff CB, Nieh JC, Thorington RW, Jr., Teaford MF (1993) Radiographic estimation of long bone cross-sectional geometric properties. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 90: 207-213

Allmon WD, Nieh JC, Norris RD (1990) Drilling and peeling of turreteline gastropods since the Late Cretaceous. Palaeontology 33: 595-611