15 July 2016

Experienced Bees Do Not Like to Share

In a university study, an entomologist found that experienced bees prefer not to share with newly hatched bees. You can click over to

http://news.uoguelph.ca/2016/03/experienced-bumblebees-wont-share-newbies-study/

and read the article. It's fascinating that anyone figured out how to study the phenomenon!

Here are some excerpts:

“Understanding how bees find and compete for flowers in the landscape is a critical first step to conserving these insects and the essential pollination services they provide to crops and wild plants,” said Raine, who holds the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation.

Like other pollinators, bees face complex routing challenges when collecting nectar and pollen. This includes learning how to link patches of flowers together in the most efficient way to minimize travel and distance, the study said.
Figuring out an optimal route takes time and experience. The researchers wondered whether bees copy others’ flower visitation sequences in the field to improve their foraging,
The team set up a 20- by 40-metre outdoor flight cage, one of the largest ever used in bee research.
They installed a range of artificial flowers, fitted with motion-sensitive video cameras and controlled nectar flow rates, for the bees to visit.
Two bees were allowed to visit the flowers at a time – one more experienced resident and one newcomer.
When the newcomer bees tried to copy the choices of seasoned foragers, the more experienced bees frequently attacked them and tried to evict them from flowers.

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