23 March, 2016

Artificial pollen dispensing flowers and feeders for bee behaviour experiments

A Bumblebee collecting pollen from a chenille stem flower.

by Avery Russell & Daniel Papaj

The foraging behaviour of pollinators contributes greatly to the evolution of plant-pollinator interactions. In return for the service of pollination, flowering plants often offer food rewards to their pollinators. Pollinators such as bees, many flies, beetles and some butterflies must collect pollen and nectar, the two most common floral rewards, to survive and reproduce. Due to their impressive cognitive abilities, many pollinators can be trained to forage from artificial flowers, which allow experimenters to precisely control what the pollinator experiences and to study their behaviour. 

Read the whole summary in: English!
Read the scientific publication in JPE.