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Do honeybees (Apis mellifera) differentiate between different pollen types?

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-177537
  • Bees receive nectar and pollen as reward for pollinating plants. Pollen of different plant species varies widely in nutritional composition. In order to select pollen of appropriate nutritional quality, bees would benefit if they could distinguish different pollen types. Whether they rely on visual, olfactory and/or chemotactile cues to distinguish between different pollen types, has however been little studied. In this study, we examined whether and how Apis mellifera workers differentiate between almond and apple pollen. We used differentialBees receive nectar and pollen as reward for pollinating plants. Pollen of different plant species varies widely in nutritional composition. In order to select pollen of appropriate nutritional quality, bees would benefit if they could distinguish different pollen types. Whether they rely on visual, olfactory and/or chemotactile cues to distinguish between different pollen types, has however been little studied. In this study, we examined whether and how Apis mellifera workers differentiate between almond and apple pollen. We used differential proboscis extension response conditioning with olfactory and chemotactile stimulation, in light and darkness, and in summer and winter bees. We found that honeybees were only able to differentiate between different pollen types, when they could use both chemotactile and olfactory cues. Visual cues further improved learning performance. Summer bees learned faster than winter bees. Our results thus highlight the importance of multisensory information for pollen discrimination.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Fabian A. Ruedenauer, Christine Wöhrle, Johannes Spaethe, Sara D. LeonhardtORCiD
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-177537
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Medizinische Fakultät / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Parent Title (English):PLoS ONE
Year of Completion:2018
Volume:13
Issue:11
Pagenumber:e0205821
Source:PLoS ONE 13(11):e0205821 (2018). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205821
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205821
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 595 Arthropoden (Gliederfüßer)
Tag:bees; behavioral conditioning; conditioned response; foraging; honey bees; nutrients; pollen; sensory cues
Release Date:2019/04/11
Collections:Open-Access-Publikationsfonds / Förderzeitraum 2018
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung 4.0 International