Thursday 17 March 2016

Selfish bumblebees are not prepared to share expertise

Date: March 16, 2016
Source: Queen Mary University of London

Well qualified bumblebees are not prepared to share their pollinating knowledge with less experienced bees, according to new research carried out at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

"Like other pollinators, bees face complex routing challenges when collecting nectar and pollen -- they have to learn how to link patches of flowers together in the most efficient way, to minimise their travel distance and flight costs, just like in a traveling salesman problem," said lead author, Dr Mathieu Lihoreau.

While it often takes them some time to figure out an optimal route, little research has been carried out into whether bees' can copy other bees' flower visitation sequences in the field, to improve their foraging.

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