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Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage [Plos One]

Subject Areas : bees, flowers, foraging, flight (biology), flow rate, insect flight, personal computers, honey bees

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day.(...)

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