Cost-intake information used in foraging

Keith D. Waddington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


An aspect of the round dance, called RATE, was used as quantification of 15 honey bees' (Apis mellifera) perceptions of caloric costs and intakes experienced while foraging at artificial flowers. Caloric intake per floral visit (CALGAIN) was manipulated by varying sucrose concentration. Both flight and handling costs per floral visit (CALCOST) were manipulated. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to quantify the relationship between the dependent variable, RATE, and the two energy variables. There was significant variation among bees in dance behaviour. However, the absolute magnitude of the CLACOST coefficients tended to be larger than CALGAIN coefficients; bees may weight perceptions of costs in relation to intakes. Honey bees were presented with a series of binary choices between yellow or blue tubular artificial flowers in order to assess how cost-intake information is used to make choices among flowers. In eight experiments the 2 flowers had different combinations of volume of sucrose (intake) and tube depth (handling cost). Results are consistent with an assessment of rate of net caloric intake, although they are likely consistent with other possible assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-897
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1985


  • choice
  • communication
  • cost
  • foraging
  • Honey bee
  • intake
  • perception
  • pollination
  • profitability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Physiology


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