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Bumblebee learning flights at a flower: viewing direction on departure is influenced by landmark position on approach
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Bumblebees, like other Hymenopterans, perform learning flights when departing their nest for the first few times or when departing from a newly discovered food source. As bees can learn about the landmarks around a flower both on approach and on departure, it is possible that what they see and learn on approach affects what they focus on during their learning flight on departure. In the present study, bumblebees from a commercial colony placed in a greenhouse were allowed to land at an artificial flower next to a single cylindrical landmark in one of three different positions (west, north or east), while all bees departed the flower with all three landmarks present in each position. Bumblebees approaching the flower with the landmark in the west position (WEST bees) faced mostly in a westerly direction and toward that landmark on departure, while NORTH bees faced mostly in an easterly direction and toward the east landmark and EAST bees faced mostly in a northerly direction and toward the north landmark. Thus, each group was consistent but favoured a different direction and faced toward a different landmark compared to the other groups, though these differences were most prominent during the early phase of the learning flight. On the other hand, all three groups faced the flower during the late phase of the learning flight. I therefore conclude that bumblebees do learn about the landmarks around a flower on approach, and this affects the direction they face during their learning flight in a consistent way.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 31
Keywords [en]
bumblebee, bee, learning flight, insect navigation
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157084ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX--19/3617--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-157084DiVA, id: diva2:1318653
External cooperation
Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter
Subject / course
Biology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-05-28 Created: 2019-05-28 Last updated: 2019-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Thesis Michael Plante-Ajah(1691 kB)41 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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