In this study the layer optimization was carried out for maximizing the lowest (first) fundamental frequency of symmetrical laminated composite plates subjected to any combination of the three classical boundary conditions, and the applicability of the Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm to the layer optimization was investigated. The finite element method was used for calculating the first natural frequencies of the laminated composite plates with various stacking sequences. TheABC algorithm maximizes the first natural frequency of the laminated composite plate defined as an objective function. The optimal stacking sequences were determined for two layer numbers, twenty boundary conditions and two plate length/width ratios. The outer layers of the composite plate had a stiffness increasing effect, and as the number of clamped plate edges was increased both he stiffness and natural frequency of the plate increased. The optimal stacking sequences were in good agreement with those determined by the Ritz-based layerwise optimization method (Narita 2003: J. Sound Vibration 263 (5), 1005\u20131016) as well as by the genetic algorithm method combined with the finite element method.