Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries

27.01.2020

Research team led by the University of Göttingen investigates foraging behavior in agricultural landscapes

Bees are pollinators of many wild and crop plants, but in many places their diversity and density is declining. A research team from the Universities of Göttingen, Sussex and Würzburg has now investigated the foraging behaviour of bees in agricultural landscapes.


Pollen can be analysed under the microscope

Credit: Svenja Bänsch, University of Göttingen

To do this, the scientists analysed the bees' dances, which are called the "waggle dance". They found out that honey bees prefer strawberry fields, even if they flowered directly next to the oilseed rape fields.

Only when oilseed rape was in full bloom were fewer honey bees observed in the strawberry field. Wild bees, on the other hand, consistently chose the strawberry field. The results have been published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment.

A team from the Functional Agrobiodiversity and Agroecology groups at the University of Göttingen established small honey bee colonies next to eleven strawberry fields in the region of Göttingen and Kassel. The scientists then used video recordings and decoded the waggle dances.

Honey bees dance to communicate the direction and distance of attractive food sources that they have visited. In combination with satellite maps of the landscape, the land use type that they preferred could be determined. The team also studied which plants the bees used as pollen resources and calculated the density of honey bees and wild bees in the study fields.

Their results: honey bees prefer the strawberry fields, even when oilseed rape is flowering abundantly in the area. However, honey bees from the surrounding landscapes are less common in the strawberry fields when oilseed rape is in full bloom.

"In contrast, solitary wild bees, like mining bees, are constantly present in the strawberry field", says first author Svenja Bänsch, post-doctoral researcher in the Functional Agrobiodiversity group at the University of Göttingen. "Wild bees are therefore of great importance for the pollination of crops," emphasizes Professor Teja Tscharntke, Head of the Agroecology group.

"With this study, we were able to show that small honey bee colonies in particular can be suitable for the pollination of strawberries in the open field. However, our results also show that wild bees in the landscape should be supported by appropriate management measures", concludes Head of Functional

###

Agrobiodiversity Professor Catrin Westphal.

Bänsch, S. et al. Foraging of honey bees in agricultural landscapes with changing patterns of flower resources. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106792

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167880919304098?via%3Dihub

Contact:

Svenja Bänsch
University of Göttingen
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences - Functional Agrobiodiversity
Grisebachstraße 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)551 22111
Email: svenja.baensch@agr.uni-goettingen.de
https://svenjabaensch.weebly.com/

Professor Catrin Westphal
University of Göttingen
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences - Functional Agrobiodiversity
Grisebachstraße 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)551 39 22257
Email: cwestph@gwdg.de
http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/596513.html

Media Contact

Melissa Sollich
melissa.sollich@uni-goettingen.de
49-055-139-26228

http://www.uni-goettingen.de 

Melissa Sollich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/3240.html?id=5793
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106792

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Sustainable forest management contributes more to climate protection than forest wilderness
07.02.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Microscopic partners could help plants survive stressful environments
30.01.2020 | Washington State University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

Im Focus: Quantum fluctuations sustain the record superconductor

Superconductivity approaching room temperature may be possible in hydrogen-rich compounds at much lower pressures than previously expected

Reaching room-temperature superconductivity is one of the biggest dreams in physics. Its discovery would bring a technological revolution by providing...

Im Focus: New coronavirus module in SORMAS

HZI-developed app for disease control is expanded to stop the spread of the pathogen

At the end of December 2019, the first cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus were reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since then, infections...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electric solid propellant -- can it take the heat?

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Pitt study uncovers new electronic state of matter

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers observe quantum interferences in real-time using a new extreme ultra-violet light spectroscopy technique

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>