Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Choice of Individual Flowers By Bumble Bees: Interaction of Morphology, Time and Energy

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

The purpose of this study was to describe the energetic mechanism underlying the choice of individual flowers of a single plant species by bumble bees. Conditions associated with selective behaviour were detected by following freely foraging bees and collecting flowers that they visited. Two types of selectivity were observed in four of thirteen groups of ten to fifteen bees: a preference for larger than average flowers when all flowers of a particular species were shallower than the lengths of the bees' glossae (= tongues); or a positive correlation between glossa length and the depth of flowers visited when glossa length approximately equalled flower depth. To explain these results an energetic model was developed based jointly on the dependence of a bee's probing time on glossa length and flower depth, and a positive correlation between flower depth and nectar production. This model was tested by an experiment with different-sized artificial flowers which contained volumes of sugar solution in direct relation to flower size. Because all flowers were shallower than the glossa lengths of the tested bees, a preference for the largest flowers was expected. Over a series of trials three of four bees fed in the expected pattern. Selective behaviour was reflected in very different patterns of size-related flower visitation, which depended on the particular characteristics of both bees and flowers.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation