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FORAGING FOR NECTAR AND POLLEN ON THISTLE FLOWERS (CIRSIUM VULGARE) AND ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS: HOW BUMBLE BEES (BOMBUS IMPATIENS) RESPOND TO COLONY REQUIREMENTS

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This study documented two behavioural responses to pollen and nectar deprivation in a colony of bumble bees: flower handling and choice. In two laboratory experiments, colonies were deprived, on successive days, of pollen and of nectar. In the first experiment, the bees foraged on thistle flowers, and in the second, they foraged on artificial flowers. In both studies, flower handling depended on deprivation condition: the relative frequency of scrabbling for pollen rather than probing for nectar was of the order of tenfold higher when the colony was deprived of pollen. Choice also depended on deprivation condition. In Experiment 1, old thistle flowers, which had abundant pollen visible, were visited more frequently than new flowers when the colony was deprived of pollen. Similarly in Experiment 2, the row of artificial flowers containing both nectar and pollen was visited more frequently than the row of flowers containing only nectar when the colony was deprived of pollen.

10.1163/156853999501667
/content/journals/10.1163/156853999501667
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853999501667
1999-09-01
2017-10-20

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