Project

Using radar tracking and chemical analyses to explore individual territorial behaviour of bumble bee males

Goal: Many important questions regarding the particular patrol flying of male bumble bees remain unanswered given that the past work is largely based on fragmentary observations and speculation since bees were often not individually marked and their flight speed and covered area prevented lasting tracking, especially when bees disappeared in vegetation or at elevated locations (e.g. tree tops). The difficulty in observing mating behavior in many social insect species means that far less information about these behaviors and their consequences for paternity success is available compared to non-social insects or vertebrates. The aim of this project is to use advanced spatial and chemical technology to give us access to those information and decipher the mechanisms in action during male territorial behavior using Bombus terrestris as study organism.

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Project log

Natacha Rossi
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Many important questions regarding the particular patrol flying of male bumble bees remain unanswered given that the past work is largely based on fragmentary observations and speculation since bees were often not individually marked and their flight speed and covered area prevented lasting tracking, especially when bees disappeared in vegetation or at elevated locations (e.g. tree tops). The difficulty in observing mating behavior in many social insect species means that far less information about these behaviors and their consequences for paternity success is available compared to non-social insects or vertebrates. The aim of this project is to use advanced spatial and chemical technology to give us access to those information and decipher the mechanisms in action during male territorial behavior using Bombus terrestris as study organism.