This work presents a multi-objective optimization method based on the artificial bee colony, called the MOABC, for optimizing problems with multiple objectives. The MOABC uses a grid-based approach to adaptively assess the Pareto front maintained in an external archive. The external archive is used to control the flying behaviours of the individuals and structuring the bee colony. The employed bees adjust their trajectories based on the non-dominated solutions maintained in the external archive. On the other hand, the onlooker bees select the food sources advertised by the employed bees to update their positions. The qualities of these food sources are computed based on the Pareto dominance notion. The scout bees are used by the MOABC to get rid of food sources with poor qualities. The proposed algorithm was evaluated on a set of standard test problems in comparison with other state-of-the-art algorithms. Experimental results indicate that the proposed approach is competitive compared to other algorithms considered in this work. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.