Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7283

Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The influence of nectar secretion rates on the responses of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) to previously visited flowers
Authors: Stout, Jane C
Goulson, Dave
Contact Email: dave.goulson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: foraging behaviour
scent marking
bumblebees
nectar secretion
optimal strategy
Issue Date: Aug-2002
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Stout JC & Goulson D (2002) The influence of nectar secretion rates on the responses of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) to previously visited flowers, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 52 (3), pp. 239-246.
Abstract: Bumblebees can avoid recently depleted flowers by responding to repellent scent- marks deposited on flower corollas by previous visitors. It has previously been suggested that avoidance of visited flowers for a fixed period would be a poor strategy, since different plant species vary greatly in the rate at which they replenish floral rewards. In this study, we examined the duration of flower repellency after an initial bumblebee visit, using wild bumblebees (Bombus lapidarius, B. pascuorum and B. terrestris) foraging on four different plant species (Lotus corniculatus, Melilotus officinalis, Phacelia tanacetifolia and Symphytum officinale). We constructed a model to predict flower visitation following an initial visit, based on the nectar secretion pattern of the different plant species, the insect visitation rate per flower, and the search and handling times of bumblebees foraging on the plant species in question. The model predicts an optimal duration of flower avoidance which maximises the rate of reward acquisition for all bees. However, this optimum may be open to cheating. For two plant species, the evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) is a shorter duration of flower avoidance than the optimum. We found the duration of flower avoidance was markedly different among flower species and was inversely related to nectar secretion rates. The predicted ESSs for each plant species were close to those observed, suggesting that the key parameters influencing bumblebee behaviour are those included in the model. We discuss how bees may alter the duration of their response to repellent scents, and other factors that affect flower re-visitation
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7283
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-002-0510-2
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Southampton
Biological and Environmental Sciences

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