Foraging Response of Turkish Honey Bee Subspecies to Flower Color Choices and Reward Consistency

ÇAKMAK İ. , Song D. S. , Mixson T. A. , Serrano E., Clement M. L. , Savitski A., ...More

JOURNAL OF INSECT BEHAVIOR, vol.23, no.2, pp.100-116, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10905-009-9199-7
  • Page Numbers: pp.100-116


Foraging behavior of Apis mellifera caucasica, A.m. carnica and A.m. syriaca in Turkey was studied for intrinsic subspecies-based differences. Models of forager flower-color fidelity, risk sensitive behavior and maximizing net gain were tested. Foragers were presented artificial flower patches containing blue, white and yellow flowers. Some bees of each subspecies showed high fidelity to yellow flowers, while others favored blue and white flowers. The degree of fidelity, however, differed among subspecies and was dependent upon which color was favored. Bees of all subspecies demonstrated risk indifferent behavior regardless of whether they favored yellow flowers or blue and white flowers. Flower handling time differed among subspecies and increased with reward quantity, and when a reward was present. Flight time between consecutive flowers also differed among honey bee subspecies. Foragers of all subspecies had a higher net gain when visiting flowers with consistent rewards.