Honey bee foraging: persistence to non-rewarding feeding locations and waggle dance communication

Al Toufailia, Hasan Mohammad (2012) Honey bee foraging: persistence to non-rewarding feeding locations and waggle dance communication. Doctoral thesis (MPhil), University of Sussex.

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The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is important in agriculture and also as a model species in scientific research. This Master’s thesis is focused on honey bee foraging behaviour. It contains two independent experiments, each on a different subject within the area of foraging. Both use a behavioural ecology approach, with one investigating foraging behaviour and the other foraging communication. These form chapters 2 and 3 of the thesis, after an introductory chapter.

Chapter 2. Experiment 1: Persistence to unrewarding feeding locations by forager honey bees (Apis mellifera): the effects of experience, resource profitability, and season

This study shows that the persistence of honey bee foragers to unrewarding food sources, measured both in duration and number of visits, was greater to locations that previously offered sucrose solution of higher concentration (2 versus 1molar) or were closer to the hive (20 versus 450m). Persistence was also greater in bees which had longer access at the feeder before the syrup was terminated (2 versus 0.5h). These results indicate that persistence is greater for more rewarding locations. However, persistence was not higher in the season of lowest nectar availability in the environment.

Chapter 3. Experiment 2: Honey bee waggle dance communication: signal meaning and signal noise affect dance follower behaviour

This study shows that honey bee foragers follow fewer waggle runs as the distance to the food source, that is advertised by the dance, increases, but invest more time in following these dances. This is because waggle run duration increases with increasing foraging distance. The number of waggle runs followed for distant food sources was further reduced by increased angular noise among waggle runs within a dance. The number of dance followers per dancing bee was affected by the time of year and varied among colonies. Both noise in the message, that is variation in the direction component, and the message itself, that is the distance of the advertised food location, affect dance following. These results indicate that dance followers pay attention to the costs and benefits associated with using dance information.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0360 Invertebrates > QL0434 Arthropoda > QL0463 Insects > QL0563 Hymenoptera > QL0568.A-Z Systematic divisions. By family, A-Z > QL0568.A6 Apidae (Bumblebees; honeybees; stingless bees)
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2012 06:13
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2015 14:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/40498

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