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Exposure to elevated temperature during development affects bumblebee foraging behavior

Citation

Gérard, Maxence et al. (2022), Exposure to elevated temperature during development affects bumblebee foraging behavior, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8931zcrss

Abstract

Bee foraging behavior provides a pollination service that has both ecological and economic benefits. However, bee population decline could directly affect the efficiency of this interaction. Among the drivers of this decline, global warming has been implicated as an emerging threat but exactly how increasing temperatures affect bee foraging behavior remains unexplored. Here, we assessed how exposure to elevated temperatures during development affects the foraging behavior and morphology of workers from commercial and wild Bombus terrestris colonies. Workers reared at 33°C had a higher visiting rate and shorter visiting time than those reared at 27°C. In addition, far fewer workers reared at 33°C engaged in foraging activities and this is potentially related to the drastic reduction in the number of individuals produced in colonies exposed to 33°C. The impact of elevated developmental temperature on wild colonies was even stronger as none of the workers from these colonies performed any foraging trips. We also found that rearing temperature affected wing size and shape. Our results provide the first evidence that colony temperature can have striking effects on bumblebee foraging behavior. Of particular importance is the drastic reduction in the number of workers performing foraging trips, and the total number of foraging trips made by workers reared in high temperatures. Further studies should explore if, ultimately, these observed effects of exposure to elevated temperature during development lead to a reduction in pollination efficiency.

Funding

Wenner-Gren Stiftelserna