Honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) use of color and pattern in making foraging choices

Citation
H. Wells et al., Honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) use of color and pattern in making foraging choices, J KAN ENT S, 73(4), 2000, pp. 195-207
Citations number
36
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Entomology/Pest Control
Journal title
JOURNAL OF THE KANSAS ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY
ISSN journal
0022-8567 → ACNP
Volume
73
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
195 - 207
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-8567(200010)73:4<195:H(MLUO>2.0.ZU;2-Y
Abstract
Honeybees can use various kinds of information, including color and pattern , in choosing flowers during foraging. We offered free-flying bees a dimorp hic artificial patch of radial and bilateral blue/white flowers in order to examine three hypotheses to explain the noted increase in visitation to th e flower type offering a lower caloric reward, i.e., optical resolution, dy slectic interpretation, and cognition related to pattern colors. When bees were offered a color pattern rather than a simple color difference to diffe rentiate flower types, they did not always make choices predicted by theory . Honeybees foraged randomly on both flower morphs when rewards were equal and chose the higher caloric reward more often when rewards were different. However, they visited the less rewarding choice more than 33% of the time. Increasing the size of the flower surface by doubling the dimensions did n ot decrease visitation to the less rewarding flower type, suggesting that v isual acuity is not the limiting factor in flower sizes used. When flower c olors that increased contrast (yellow vs, blue) were used in the dimorphic parch, visitation rate to the less rewarding flower type did not decline, n or did this 'error rate' decrease when identical patterns were used with on ly partial color differences. Adding an orientation reference on each flowe r decreased the frequency with which the less rewarding flower type was cho sen from 36 to 26%, possibly because foragers were induced to switch from a global cue (e.g., patch) to a local cue (e.g.. flower). The rate with whic h the less rewarding flower type is chosen appears to be a function of hone ybee use of cognitive and sensory modalities, rather than limited memory an d correlative abilities.