Free access
Volume 35, Number 2, March-April 2004
Information flow and group decision making in social bees
Page(s) 133 - 142
Apidologie 35 (2004) 133-142
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004001

Sucrose responsiveness and behavioral plasticity in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

Ricarda Scheinera, Robert E. Pageb and Joachim Erbera

a   Institut für Ökologie, Technische Universität Berlin, Franklinstr. 28/29, 10587 Berlin, Germany
b   Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

(Received 8 August 2003; revised 15 November 2003; accepted 15 December 2003)

Abstract - This review will focus on the relationships between sensory responses of bees and behavior. Sensory responsiveness constrains individual foraging plasticity and skews collective foraging decisions of colonies. We will concentrate on pollen, nectar, and water foraging behavior and will show that differences in the sucrose responsiveness of bees correlate with different behavioral roles, which supports the response threshold model of division of labor. We will also show how a colony's "allocation" of foragers into foraging roles results from individual differences in responsiveness to task-related stimuli and discuss hypotheses on the behavioral relevance of these differences.

Key words: behavioral plasticity / sucrose responsiveness / foraging behavior / collective decision / response threshold model

Corresponding author: Ricarda Scheiner

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004