Home > Papers from 2017 > Where’s my dinner?

Where’s my dinner?

The level of investment that an individual makes in learning about a location depends on the importance of that location. It is well known that many social insects undertake extensive learning flights/walks that provide ample opportunity to thoroughly learn about their nest location. Here, Robert et al. show that male bumblebees do not waste energy performing such learning flights. Presumably this is because males don’t contribute to the upkeep of the colony directly and their priorities are dispersal and reproduction. However the same males will undertake learning flights when they have discovered a new food source. So some things are important enough for these males to take the time to learn.
Robert, T., Frasnelli, E., Collett, T. S., & de Ibarra, N. H. (2016). Male bumblebees perform learning flights on leaving a flower but not when leaving their nest. Journal of Experimental Biology, jeb-151126.
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