Homing ability of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Goulson, David and Stout, Jane C (2001) Homing ability of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Apidologie, 32 (1). pp. 105-111. ISSN 0044-8435

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Abstract

The ability of bumblebees to locate their nest site following artificial displacement was investigated. Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers were marked with numbered tags and displaced up to 15 km from their nest. Bees returned from distances of up to 9.8 km, with the proportion of bees returning declining with distance of the release site from the nest. Bees were slow to return to their nests, often taking several days when even the most distant sites were all within I h direct flight time. These findings concur with those of earlier studies on various Hymenoptera, and they are consistent with previous suggestions that the most probable homing mechanism is a systematic search until familiar landmarks are encountered. Our results also suggest that the natural foraging range of B. terrestris may span several km.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2014 10:37
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2014 10:37
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/51277
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