Harmonic radar tracking reveals that honeybee drones navigate between multiple aerial leks

Woodgate, Joseph L, Makinson, James C, Rossi, Natacha, Lim, Ka S, Reynolds, Andrew M, Rawlings, Christopher J and Chittka, Lars (2021) Harmonic radar tracking reveals that honeybee drones navigate between multiple aerial leks. iScience, 24 (6). p. 102499. ISSN 2589-0042

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Male honeybees (drones) are thought to congregate in large numbers in particular "drone congregation areas" to mate. We used harmonic radar to record the flight paths of individual drones and found that drones favored certain locations within the landscape which were stable over two years. Drones often visit multiple potential lekking sites within a single flight and take shared flight paths between them. Flights between such sites are relatively straight and begin as early as the drone's second flight, indicating familiarity with the sites acquired during initial learning flights. Arriving at congregation areas, drones display convoluted, looping flight patterns. We found a correlation between a drone's distance from the center of each area and its acceleration toward the center, a signature of collective behavior leading to congregation in these areas. Our study reveals the behavior of individual drones as they navigate between and within multiple aerial leks.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Animals, Biological sciences, Ecology, Environmental science, Ethology, Zoology
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2022 09:34
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 09:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/107895

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