Top 5 - yesterday
- CAN (SK): “The flowers take a long time to start growing but it is worth it because they are so beautiful”
- Plants remove cancer causing toxins from air
- Use of prohydrojasmon to suppress Frankliniella occidentalis and tomato spotted wilt virus in chrysanthemums
- Kuehne+Nagel announces management changes in Middle East and Africa region
- UK: Award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden to go on display in Hampshire
Top 5 - last week
Top 5 - last month
- Hasfarm’s network expands in Indonesia, partnering with Bromelia Flowers and Tropika
- "Breeders need to study the Chinese market carefully before introducing a variety"
- Royal Flowers merges with The Elite Group
- North America: “Unbridled optimism for Mother’s Day tempered by reality”
- “A new sales channel for flower companies without any labor or high fixed costs”
Flower size matters
The researchers examined the trade-off between speed and accuracy that occurs when bumble bees (Bombus ignites) are presented with new foraging areas. To do so, they introduced the insects to different-sized artificial flowers that were set out in a flight cage. The flowers had styrene foam centres which were embedded with nectar providers. These allowed for a sucrose solution to be automatically replenished. When an array of flowers which was two centimetres in diameter was used, the bees could not easily detect the next nearest flower. However, when large flowers (six centimetres in diameter) were presented, the bees could easily recognize the next available artificial bloom.
Image credits: Shohei Tsujimoto
Previous studies focusing on spatial-reward associative learning in foraging animals have assumed that foraging efficiency increases as the forager learns the locations of greater rewards. Tsujimoto and Ishii found that when the flowers were small, the bees created foraging routes by selectively incorporating the locations of high-rewarding flowers with their experience. But when the flowers were large and, therefore, more easily detectable, the bees no longer needed to consider the location of high rewarding flowers and simply flew between flowers more quickly.
“The bumble bees created a foraging route without accounting for the location of high-rewarding flowers when they could find flowers easily, but incorporated the locations of high-rewarding flowers when they could not easily find the next nearest flowers,” explains Tsujimoto. “These results, together with those of other studies, show that learning could be a choice that foragers apply according to the cost-benefit balance of learning, and this is dependent on the circumstances.”
“A forager that creates a route without accounting for the location of high-rewarding flowers will therefore not always be a short-sighted loser.” adds Ishii.
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