Bumblebees Do Not Respond to Variance in Nectar Concentration

Keith D. Waddington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Worker bumblebees Bombus fervidus were given repeated binary choices between artificial flowers. Flowers of one color, yellow or blue, rewarded a bee with 1 μl of 20% sucrose solution (low-variance flower type) on each visit (p = 1) and flowers of the other color rewarded a bee on each visit with 1 μl of either 10% or 30% sucrose (p = 0.5; high-variance flower type). Of the 10 bees tested, nine showed no preference for either the high- or low-variance flowers (indifference or risk-insensitive). Flower-choice behaviour in the presence of variance in nectar concentration is a response to the expected concentration of the alternative flower types. Possible mechanisms of risk-sensitive foraging behaviour in bees are discussed. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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