Partial nectar loads as a cause of multiple nectar transfer in the honey bee (Apis mellifera): a simulation model

Gregson, Andrew M, Hart, Adam G, Holcombe, Michael and Ratnieks, Francis L W (2003) Partial nectar loads as a cause of multiple nectar transfer in the honey bee (Apis mellifera): a simulation model. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 222 (1). pp. 1-8. ISSN 0022-5193

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Honey bee foragers transfer their nectar loads to receiver bees within the nest. Surprisingly, they often transfer to more than one receiver (published values range from 1.9 to 2.7). Several adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain why multiple transfer occurs. One hypothesis, information improvement, states that multiple transfer arises as an adaptive forager-driven process. Foragers use the delay in finding a receiver to assess the relative work capacities of foragers and receivers, performing recruitment dances when appropriate. Multiple transferring improves their delay information. We used a stochastic simulation model to investigate the non-adaptive partial loads hypothesis. We determined the extent to which partial crop loads and receiver filling and emptying rules (i.e. how much nectar to accept before leaving the transfer area) can cause multiple transfer. As many as 1.9 nectar transfers per returning forager were generated within biologically realistic parameter space. We suggest that much multiple transfer arises as a non-adaptive consequence of partitioning nectar foraging between foragers and receivers, but that this will also result in foragers having better information about the relative work capacities of foragers and receivers as a useful consequence. We suggest that the number of transfers caused by partial loads could also be increased by an adaptive forager-driven effort to improve their information concerning the balance of foragers and receivers and we outline a framework wherein the information improvement hypothesis can be directly tested.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Francis Ratnieks
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:46
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2012 12:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18239
📧 Request an update