CAN BEES SELECT NECTAR-RICH FLOWERS IN A PATCH?

publication date: Sep 24, 2012
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 23 (4) pp.234-242
DOI
          ___
Date
December 1984
Article Title
CAN BEES SELECT NECTAR-RICH FLOWERS IN A PATCH?
Author(s)
S A CORBET, C J C KERSLAKE, D BROWN AND N E MORLAND
Abstract

Records of the temporal pattern and nature of nectar-collecting visits to individual flowers by bees (including bumble bees Bombus spp. and the honeybee Apis mellifera) showed that bees can avoid revisiting, landing on, or probing, recently-probed flowers. An individual bumble bee, monopolizing a patch of borage flowers, circuited on a regular route so frequently that individual flowers received visits at a modal interval of 3'25 min. Other bees may have been excluded by exploitation competition. Bees were more likely to depart without landing, or to land without probing, when approaching a flower probed within the last minute or two than when approaching a flower probed longer ago. We review possible modes of flower selection by bees, and conclude that bees can, and sometimes do, visit nectar-rich flowers preferentially, sometimes recognizing these in ways not commonly taken into account in studies of foraging strategies.

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