A population comparison of the strength and persistence of innate colour preference and learning speed in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

  title={A population comparison of the strength and persistence of innate colour preference and learning speed in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris},
  author={Thomas C Ings and Nigel E. Raine and Lars Chittka},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
Studies of innate colour preference and learning ability have focused on differences at the species level, rather than variation among populations of a single species. Initial strength and persistence of colour preferences are likely to affect colour choices of naïve flower visitors. We therefore study the influence of both the strength and persistence of innate colour preference (for blue) on an operant learning task (associating food reward with yellow flowers) in two populations of the… 
The variability and adaptive value of visual learning performance in wild and domesticated colonies of the common eastern bumblebee, Bombus impatiens
This thesis examined the adaptive value of visual associative learning in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens by quantifying variation in performance across four laboratory colour-learning tasks for wild and domesticated colonies and by assessing the field foraging performance of individuals relative to their learning ability.
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This study provides additional evidence to support the idea that rapid learning and behavioural flexibility have adaptive value and suggests that differences in learning performance and cognitive (behavioural) flexibility could reflect more general differences in colony learning ability.
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It is discussed how customisable automated operant devices, such as the one described here, could prove to be a powerful tool in evolutionary ecology studies of cognitive traits, especially among inquisitive species such as great tits.
Bumblebees occupy: when foragers do and do not use the presence of others to first find food
The authors' results narrow down the conditions under which foragers respond to the presence of others when making their first floral choices and find a significant unlearned preference was found under the combination of conditions in which occupied flowers were comparatively rare and the occupier to flower size ratio was relatively high.
Changes in Learning and Foraging Behaviour within Developing Bumble Bee (Bombus terrestris) Colonies
There were strong differences in foraging behaviour between queens and their workers and these behaviours could allow queens to maximise their nectar collecting efficiency whilst avoiding predation.
No sex differences in learning in wild bumblebees
In the first test of sex and species differences in cognition using wild bumblebees, it is found that males and females did not differ in their ability to learn, although males were slower to respond to the sucrose reward.
Response of pollinators to the tradeoff between resource acquisition and predator avoidance
This study shows that both pollinator species responded simultaneously and differently to variations in food reward and predation risk, and highlights the importance of studying the foraging strategies of pollinators in order to fully understand how plant–pollinator interactions are established.
Male bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, perform equally well as workers in a serial colour-learning task
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The Adaptive Significance of Sensory Bias in a Foraging Context: Floral Colour Preferences in the Bumblebee Bombus terrestris
Innate sensory biases could play an important role in helping naïve animals to find food. As inexperienced bees are known to have strong innate colour biases we investigated whether bumblebee (Bombus
The correlation of learning speed and natural foraging success in bumble-bees
It is demonstrated that variation in learning speed among bumble-bee colonies is directly correlated with the foraging performance, a robust fitness measure, under natural conditions.
Learning foraging tasks by bees: a comparison between social and solitary species
Innate and learned colour preference in the zebrafish, Danio rerio
The observed receiver bias towards red may have evolved as an adaptive preference for carotenoid compounds in their diet, and the results indicate that learning is also important in shaping foraging biases.
Colour choices of naive bumble bees and their implications for colour perception
The innate preferences of inexperienced bumble bees, Bombus terrestris, for floral colour stimuli were studied using artificial flowers and it was shown that the innate flower colour preference in bumble Bees has two components.
Color choices by bumble bees (Bombus terrestris): innate preferences and generalization after learning
  • A. Gumbert
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2000
Bumble bees show innate preferences for certain colors not only prior to color learning but also after intensive learning when choosing among very different novel colors.
Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: Flower size and color affect search time and flight behavior
Evaluating the flight behavior of bumblebees searching for artificial flowers shows that foraging speed may not be limited only by factors such as prey density, flight energetics, and scramble competition, and that understanding the behavioral ecology of foraging can substantially gain from knowledge about mechanisms of visual information processing.
Innate colour preferences and flexible colour learning in the pipevine swallowtail
  • M. Weiss
  • Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1997
A capacity for rapid and flexible associative learning presumably allows butterflies to adjust their foraging efforts in response to floral rewards that vary over space or time.
Frequency‐dependent selection by pollinators: mechanisms and consequences with regard to behaviour of bumblebees Bombus terrestris (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
Flower‐to‐flower movements by individual bumblebees between flowers were non‐random, were biased to movements within the same flower colour, and were also dependent on morph frequency.
Colour preferences of flower-naive honeybees
Colour preferences of flower-naive honeybees Apis mellifera L. flying in an enclosure were tested for their colour preferences and were strongly correlated with flower colour and its associated nectar reward, as measured in 154 flower species.