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The Behaviour of Robber Honeybees

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image of Behaviour

1. The factors which cause the characteristic swaying flight of robber honeybees have been investigated. 2. This flight occurs as an innate response to the presence of a congestion of bees, of their own or another colony, at the entrance to the hive they are robbing. 3. Foragers enter without hesitation, hives other than their own to collect syrup or honey in the absence of a congestion of bees at the entrance, even when these hives contain a colony of bees. 4. Guard bees quickly recognise would-be robber bees by their flight behaviour and confirm their identity by olfactory examination.

Affiliations: 1: Bee Research Department, Rothamsted Experimental Station


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