Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Standard

Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar. / Barker, Jessica Livia; Dornhaus, Anna; Bronstein, Judith; Muth, Felicity.

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 72, No. 4, 68, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Barker, JL, Dornhaus, A, Bronstein, J & Muth, F 2018, 'Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar', Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, vol. 72, no. 4, 68. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-018-2478-6

APA

Barker, J. L., Dornhaus, A., Bronstein, J., & Muth, F. (2018). Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 72(4), [68]. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-018-2478-6

CBE

Barker JL, Dornhaus A, Bronstein J, Muth F. 2018. Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72(4). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-018-2478-6

MLA

Vancouver

Barker JL, Dornhaus A, Bronstein J, Muth F. Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2018;72(4). 68. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-018-2478-6

Author

Barker, Jessica Livia ; Dornhaus, Anna ; Bronstein, Judith ; Muth, Felicity. / Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar. In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2018 ; Vol. 72, No. 4.

Bibtex

@article{51eda5dbebf641d6a9410762bd9051e0,
title = "Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar",
abstract = "How do nectar-feeding animals choose among alternative flower-handling tactics? Such decisions have consequences not only for animal fitness (via food intake) but for plant fitness as well: many animals can choose to “rob” nectar through holes chewed in the base of a flower instead of “legitimately” collecting it through the flower’s opening, thus failing to contact pollen. Although variation within a species in these nectar-foraging tactics is well documented, it is largely unknown why some individuals specialize (at least in the short term) on robbing, others on legitimate visitation, and others switch between these behaviors. We investigated whether the tendency to rob nectar through previously-made holes (secondary robbing) is influenced by prior foraging experience. In a laboratory experiment, we trained groups of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) either to visit artificial flowers legitimately or to secondary-rob; a third group received no training. On subsequent visits to flowers, all bees had the opportunity to use either foraging tactic. We found that experience did affect bees’ tendency to secondary-rob: trained bees were more likely to adopt the tactic they had previously experienced. Untrained bees initially sampled both tactics, but over time preferred to secondary-rob. Experience also increased bees’ success at gaining nectar from flowers, but only when visiting flowers legitimately (the less preferred tactic). Overall, these findings highlight the importance of experience in animals’ choices of alternative handling tactics while foraging and help explain long-standing observations of variation in nectar-robbing behavior among individuals of the same population.",
keywords = "Alternative tactics, Bombus, Decision-making, Experience, Foraging, Nectar robbing",
author = "Barker, {Jessica Livia} and Anna Dornhaus and Judith Bronstein and Felicity Muth",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1007/s00265-018-2478-6",
language = "English",
volume = "72",
journal = "Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology",
issn = "0340-5443",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar

AU - Barker, Jessica Livia

AU - Dornhaus, Anna

AU - Bronstein, Judith

AU - Muth, Felicity

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - How do nectar-feeding animals choose among alternative flower-handling tactics? Such decisions have consequences not only for animal fitness (via food intake) but for plant fitness as well: many animals can choose to “rob” nectar through holes chewed in the base of a flower instead of “legitimately” collecting it through the flower’s opening, thus failing to contact pollen. Although variation within a species in these nectar-foraging tactics is well documented, it is largely unknown why some individuals specialize (at least in the short term) on robbing, others on legitimate visitation, and others switch between these behaviors. We investigated whether the tendency to rob nectar through previously-made holes (secondary robbing) is influenced by prior foraging experience. In a laboratory experiment, we trained groups of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) either to visit artificial flowers legitimately or to secondary-rob; a third group received no training. On subsequent visits to flowers, all bees had the opportunity to use either foraging tactic. We found that experience did affect bees’ tendency to secondary-rob: trained bees were more likely to adopt the tactic they had previously experienced. Untrained bees initially sampled both tactics, but over time preferred to secondary-rob. Experience also increased bees’ success at gaining nectar from flowers, but only when visiting flowers legitimately (the less preferred tactic). Overall, these findings highlight the importance of experience in animals’ choices of alternative handling tactics while foraging and help explain long-standing observations of variation in nectar-robbing behavior among individuals of the same population.

AB - How do nectar-feeding animals choose among alternative flower-handling tactics? Such decisions have consequences not only for animal fitness (via food intake) but for plant fitness as well: many animals can choose to “rob” nectar through holes chewed in the base of a flower instead of “legitimately” collecting it through the flower’s opening, thus failing to contact pollen. Although variation within a species in these nectar-foraging tactics is well documented, it is largely unknown why some individuals specialize (at least in the short term) on robbing, others on legitimate visitation, and others switch between these behaviors. We investigated whether the tendency to rob nectar through previously-made holes (secondary robbing) is influenced by prior foraging experience. In a laboratory experiment, we trained groups of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) either to visit artificial flowers legitimately or to secondary-rob; a third group received no training. On subsequent visits to flowers, all bees had the opportunity to use either foraging tactic. We found that experience did affect bees’ tendency to secondary-rob: trained bees were more likely to adopt the tactic they had previously experienced. Untrained bees initially sampled both tactics, but over time preferred to secondary-rob. Experience also increased bees’ success at gaining nectar from flowers, but only when visiting flowers legitimately (the less preferred tactic). Overall, these findings highlight the importance of experience in animals’ choices of alternative handling tactics while foraging and help explain long-standing observations of variation in nectar-robbing behavior among individuals of the same population.

KW - Alternative tactics

KW - Bombus

KW - Decision-making

KW - Experience

KW - Foraging

KW - Nectar robbing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85044773962&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00265-018-2478-6

DO - 10.1007/s00265-018-2478-6

M3 - Journal article

VL - 72

JO - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

JF - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

SN - 0340-5443

IS - 4

M1 - 68

ER -