Chemical signals in bumble bee foraging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Foraging bumblebees (Bombus vosnesenskii) deposit a substance on rewarding flowers which assists in discrimination between rewarding and nonrewarding flowers in a controlled laboratory environment. Discrimination occurs while the bee is on a flower; workers probe rewarding flowers as well as empty ones that have rewarded in the recent past, but they do not probe flowers that have had no reward. Recognition is not the result of honey contamination left on the flower by the bee during feeding. The deposit is only slightly soluble in water or ethyl alcohol but is very soluble in pentane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-260
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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