Honey bees do not displace foraging bumble bees on nectar-rich artificial flowers
In an enclosed glasshouse with sucrose provisioned artificial flowers, we observed nectar-foraging bumble bees and honey bees under several resource conditions to determine potential for displacement. Different responses were displayed for varying resource treatments. Overall, bumble bees did not show reduced foraging in the presence of honey bees. When resources were reduced, bumble bees did not change their foraging behavior, whereas honey bees responded by decreasing their visitation rate. When a food resource of higher quality was introduced, bumble bee foragers shifted their foraging effort to the high-quality resources, whereas honey bees continued to forage on the lower quality resources they had been foraging on. We discuss these results by considering how the individual strategy of bumble bees compared with the colony-based strategy of honey bees may explain observed differences and highlight the potential advantages of each strategy in the natural environment.
Keywordshoney bees bumble bees artificial flowers foraging competition
We thank the Division of Sciences for PhD support and also the Departments of Botany and Zoology at the University of Otago and Diane Barton and Bruce Philip at AgResearch Invermay for logistical support.
JMI, ARM, BIPB, KJMD, and JML conceived and designed experiments, interpreted results. TWDJ assisted with data analyses. JMI wrote the paper. BIPB, KJMD, JML, and JMJ participated with the final manuscript.
This study was financially supported by the University of Otago through an Otago Research Grant.
Les abeilles mellifères ne déplacent pas les bourdons butinant sur des fleurs artificielles riches en nectar.
abeille mellifère / bourdon / fleur artificielle / butiner / compétition.
Honigbienen verdrängen keine sammelnden Hummeln auf nektarreichen Blüten.
Honigbiene / Hummel / künstliche Blüten / Sammelverhalten / Konkurrenz.
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