Regulation of pollen foraging in honeybee colonies

Effects of young brood, stored pollen, and empty space

Claudia Dreller, Robert Page, M. Kim Fondrk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pollen storage in a colony of Apis mellifera is actively regulated by increasing and decreasing pollen foraging according to the 'colony's needs.' It has been shown that nectar foragers indirectly gather information about the nectar supply of the colony from nestmates without estimating the amount of honey actually stored in the combs. Very little is known about how the actual colony need is perceived with respect to pollen foraging. Two factors influence the need for pollen: the quantity of pollen stored in cells and the amount of brood. To elucidate the mechanisms of perception, we changed the environment within normal-sized colonies by adding pollen or young brood and measured the pollen-foraging activity, while foragers had either direct access to them or not. Our results show that the amount of stored pollen, young brood, and empty space directly provide important stimuli that affect foraging behavior. Different mechanisms for forager perception of the change in the environment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume45
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

honey bee colonies
honeybee
Pollen
pollen
foraging
Plant Nectar
nectar
Comb and Wattles
combs (social insects)
Honey
effect
regulation
young
Bees
honey
foraging behavior
Apis mellifera

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • Honeybees
  • Pollen foraging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Regulation of pollen foraging in honeybee colonies : Effects of young brood, stored pollen, and empty space. / Dreller, Claudia; Page, Robert; Fondrk, M. Kim.

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 45, No. 3-4, 03.1999, p. 227-233.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dreller, Claudia ; Page, Robert ; Fondrk, M. Kim. / Regulation of pollen foraging in honeybee colonies : Effects of young brood, stored pollen, and empty space. In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 1999 ; Vol. 45, No. 3-4. pp. 227-233.
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