Navigation Links
Bumblebees learn the sweet smell of foraging success
Date:10/24/2008

Bumblebees use flower scent to guide their nest-mates to good food sources, according to scientists from Queen Mary, University of London.

For any animal, finding food on its own can be time consuming and inefficient; social animals such as bees reduce these problems by informing their peers of plentiful sites, and 'recruiting' them to the search.

Honeybees use their waggle-dance to tell nest-mates the distance and direction of a food source. But bumblebees can't communicate geographical information in this way; instead, they release a recruitment pheromone in the nest to encourage their colleagues to venture out in search of food. But where should they look?

Mathieu Molet, Lars Chittka and Nigel Raine from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences wanted to discover if this recruitment pheromone helped bees to learn which specific flowers were most rewarding at that time. They exposed bumblebee colonies to an anise scent mixed with recruitment pheromone and monitored their foraging patterns.

Bees learned that anise-scented flowers were the most rewarding. They learned this best when the flower smell was brought back to the nest by another 'demonstrator' bee, but they could also learn it when the anise odour entered the nest as either scented nectar or simply scent in the air.

Dr Raine explains: "Successful bees motivate their sisters to find food by running excitedly around the nest, buzzing and releasing pheromone. They bring home the scent of the flowers they visited which fills the air and flavours the honey. The other bees leave the nest and search for nectar-rich flowers with the same smell."

The presence of recruitment pheromone did not affect how well bees learned a new flower scent. However, the pheromone increases foraging activity in bumblebee colonies, which could increase the effectiveness of these bees pollinating important commercial crops such as tomatoes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sian Halkyard
s.halkyard@qmul.ac.uk
44-07-970-096-175
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Circadian clock may be critical for remembering what you learn, Stanford researchers say
2. Moths with a nose for learning
3. Relearning process not always a free lunch
4. Parents shape whether their children learn to eat fruits and vegetables
5. Statin does not appear helpful for children with learning disabilities caused by genetic disorder
6. Scientists learn how food affects the brain
7. Migrating songbirds learn survival tips on the fly
8. Learning and the brain
9. Distance learning course in radiation oncology for cancer treatment
10. Visual technology enables brain to learn in new ways
11. Research with squirrels provides clues on hormones role in human learning
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... Calif. , Jan. 20, 2016  Synaptics ... of human interface solutions, today announced sampling of ... solution for wearables and small screen applications including ... as printers. Supporting round and rectangular shapes, as ... offers excellent performance with moisture on screen, while ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... , January 13, 2016 ... published a new market report titled - Biometric Sensors Market ... Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to the report, the global biometric ... is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding ... In terms of volume, the biometric sensors market is ...
(Date:1/11/2016)...  higi, the leading retail and omni-channel community engagement ... and mobile, today announced it has closed funding ... --> --> ... higi,s health platform – its network of health ... expanding services and programs to retail partners and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Germany and ... QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today ... Targeted RNA Panels for gene expression profiling, expanding QIAGEN,s ... (NGS). The panels enable researchers to select from over ... changes and discover interactions between genes, cellular phenotypes and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ LLC today announced ... program for a planned metagenomic genome assembly service. ... metagenomic genome assembly method in a talk on Friday, ... & Technology conference in Orlando, Fla. ... complex datasets is difficult. Using its proprietary ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group, ... Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will provide advanced protocols and state-of-the-art techniques in ... world. , The new GSCG clinic is headed by four prominent Ecuadorian ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb.10, 2016 ASAE is introducing a hybrid ... Companies (AMC) the option of joining or renewing through ... determined by staff size, every employee in any size ... and reap all available member benefits.   ... organizational membership options will allow organizations of any size ...
Breaking Biology Technology: