Navigation Links
Bumblebees copy one another when contending with unfamiliar flowers

Researchers have reported findings that offer a surprising new twist to our understanding of how bumblebees, a vital floral pollinator, select the flowers from which they collect nectar. When faced with unfamiliar plants, foraging bees do not choose flowers entirely alone but instead copy the choices of other bees. The new findings suggest that bees adjust their behavior when dealing with flowers of unfamiliar plant species.

The observations are reported in the June 21 issue of Current Biology in a new paper by Elli Leadbeater and Lars Chittka of Queen Mary, University of London.

Bumblebees are highly social insects, but they do not recruit nestmates to feeding locations, and foragers have therefore been thought to rely mainly on individual experience when seeking out rewarding flowers. The role of other bees in these decisions has been considered only in the context of deterrence because the small scent marks that foragers leave after emptying flowers dissuade others from visiting.

In the new study, the researchers offered bumblebees the choice between several artificial-flower clusters in a laboratory setting. The bees preferred to feed from clusters where another bee was already collecting nectar, rather than making their own independent choices. Most interestingly, the bees only copied each other when they knew nothing about the flower species that they were visiting. When revisiting a flower species that they had tried before, they relied upon their own individual initiative.

It's not yet possible to say why bumblebees visit flowers that other bees are foraging on, but it could be that bees learn that the presence of another bee provides an efficient shortcut to success. These findings provide an intriguing new contribution to the ever-growing stack of evidence suggesting that insect foraging behavior is surprisingly complex.


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. NJIT Presidential Award winner takes stem cell research another step
2. One bacteria stops another on contact
3. UCLA paper examines how one disease may prevent another
4. Male contraception: One door opens, another closes
5. AIDS drug from sunflowers
6. Genetic snooze button governs timing of spring flowers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced ... new role of principal product architect and that ... director of customer development. Both will report directly ... officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in ... to high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is ... log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... project, for the , Supply and Delivery of ... Infrastructure , to Decatur , ... Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in the tendering ... selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. The contract ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes is ... 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes enzymes ... products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other markets) ... biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the largest ... consumption of products containing enzymes in developing regions.  ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a service ... Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine communication ... , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... BOSTON , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo ... biology to industrial engineering, was today awarded as ... a selection of the world,s most innovative companies. ... at scale for the real world in the ... organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle ... people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new ... , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma ...
Breaking Biology Technology: