Travel optimization by foraging bumblebees through readjustments of traplines after discovery of new feeding locations. / Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, N. E.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 176, No. 6, 12.2010, p. 744-757.

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Travel optimization by foraging bumblebees through readjustments of traplines after discovery of new feeding locations. / Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, N. E.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 176, No. 6, 12.2010, p. 744-757.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Lihoreau, Mathieu ; Chittka, Lars ; Raine, N. E. / Travel optimization by foraging bumblebees through readjustments of traplines after discovery of new feeding locations. In: American Naturalist. 2010 ; Vol. 176, No. 6. pp. 744-757.

BibTeX

@article{91b2fc4dd3144a0ba8d0ba8e938a0a02,
title = "Travel optimization by foraging bumblebees through readjustments of traplines after discovery of new feeding locations",
abstract = "Animals collecting resources that replenish over time often visit patches in predictable sequences called traplines. Despite the widespread nature of this strategy, we still know little about how spatial memory develops and guides individuals toward suitable routes. Here, we investigate whether flower visitation sequences by bumblebees Bombus terrestris simply reflect the order in which flowers were discovered or whether they result from more complex navigationalstrategies enabling bees to optimize their foraging routes. We analyzed bee flight movements in an array of four artificial flowers maximizing interfloral distances. Starting from a single patch, we sequentially added three new patches so that if bees visited them in the order in which they originally encountered flowers, they would follow a long (suboptimal) route. Bees{\textquoteright} tendency to visit patches in their discovery order decreased with experience. Instead, they optimized their flight distances by rearranging flower visitation sequences.This resulted in the development of a primary route (trapline) and two or three less frequently used secondary routes. Bees consistently used these routes after overnight breaks while occasionally exploring novel possibilities. We discuss how maintaining some level of route flexibility could allow traplining animals to cope with dynamic routing problems, analogous to the well-known travelingsalesman problem.",
keywords = "Bombus terrestris, pollination ecology, spatial cognition, trapline foraging, traveling salesman problem",
author = "Mathieu Lihoreau and Lars Chittka and Raine, {N. E.}",
year = "2010",
month = dec,
doi = "10.1086/657042",
language = "English",
volume = "176",
pages = "744--757",
journal = "American Naturalist",
issn = "0003-0147",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "6",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Travel optimization by foraging bumblebees through readjustments of traplines after discovery of new feeding locations

AU - Lihoreau, Mathieu

AU - Chittka, Lars

AU - Raine, N. E.

PY - 2010/12

Y1 - 2010/12

N2 - Animals collecting resources that replenish over time often visit patches in predictable sequences called traplines. Despite the widespread nature of this strategy, we still know little about how spatial memory develops and guides individuals toward suitable routes. Here, we investigate whether flower visitation sequences by bumblebees Bombus terrestris simply reflect the order in which flowers were discovered or whether they result from more complex navigationalstrategies enabling bees to optimize their foraging routes. We analyzed bee flight movements in an array of four artificial flowers maximizing interfloral distances. Starting from a single patch, we sequentially added three new patches so that if bees visited them in the order in which they originally encountered flowers, they would follow a long (suboptimal) route. Bees’ tendency to visit patches in their discovery order decreased with experience. Instead, they optimized their flight distances by rearranging flower visitation sequences.This resulted in the development of a primary route (trapline) and two or three less frequently used secondary routes. Bees consistently used these routes after overnight breaks while occasionally exploring novel possibilities. We discuss how maintaining some level of route flexibility could allow traplining animals to cope with dynamic routing problems, analogous to the well-known travelingsalesman problem.

AB - Animals collecting resources that replenish over time often visit patches in predictable sequences called traplines. Despite the widespread nature of this strategy, we still know little about how spatial memory develops and guides individuals toward suitable routes. Here, we investigate whether flower visitation sequences by bumblebees Bombus terrestris simply reflect the order in which flowers were discovered or whether they result from more complex navigationalstrategies enabling bees to optimize their foraging routes. We analyzed bee flight movements in an array of four artificial flowers maximizing interfloral distances. Starting from a single patch, we sequentially added three new patches so that if bees visited them in the order in which they originally encountered flowers, they would follow a long (suboptimal) route. Bees’ tendency to visit patches in their discovery order decreased with experience. Instead, they optimized their flight distances by rearranging flower visitation sequences.This resulted in the development of a primary route (trapline) and two or three less frequently used secondary routes. Bees consistently used these routes after overnight breaks while occasionally exploring novel possibilities. We discuss how maintaining some level of route flexibility could allow traplining animals to cope with dynamic routing problems, analogous to the well-known travelingsalesman problem.

KW - Bombus terrestris

KW - pollination ecology

KW - spatial cognition

KW - trapline foraging

KW - traveling salesman problem

U2 - 10.1086/657042

DO - 10.1086/657042

M3 - Article

VL - 176

SP - 744

EP - 757

JO - American Naturalist

JF - American Naturalist

SN - 0003-0147

IS - 6

ER -