Data from: The effect of conspecific density on honey bee foraging behavior
Horna Lowell, Eva S. et al. (2020), Data from: The effect of conspecific density on honey bee foraging behavior, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3rn48cm
Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera) seem to use the presence of conspecific foragers as cues for flower quality. However, there is disagreement regarding how a conspecific cue is perceived by other foragers (enhancement or inhibition). Most studies manipulate the total number of bees foraging in an arena or the presence or absence of a bee on a flower and then observe the behavior of one forager in response to a single conspecific, which does not reflect natural foraging. We tested how a range of conspecifics on flowers affected on which flowers foraging honey bees landed. We trained students from a biology class for non-STEM majors to collect data and tested whether the number of conspecifics on flowers influences on which flower foragers land. We found that foragers land more frequently on flowers occupied by more conspecifics, which supports the hypothesis that conspecifics are cues for local enhancement. Our results increase our understanding of how honey bees forage once at a flower patch.