Bees algorithm (BA) is a new member of meta-heuristics. BA tries to model natural behavior of honey bees in food foraging. Honey bees use several mechanisms like waggle dance to optimally locate food sources and to search new ones. This makes them a good candidate for developing new algorithms for solving optimization problems. In this paper a brief review of BA is first given, afterwards development of a BA for solving generalized assignment problems (GAP) with an ejection chain neighborhood mechanism is presented. GAP is a NP-hard problem. Many meta-heuristic algorithms were proposed for its solution. So far BA is generally applied to continuous optimization. In order to investigate the performance of BA on a complex integer optimization problem, an attempt is made in this paper. An extensive computational study is carried out and the results are compared with several algorithms from the literature. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.