29 June 2011
Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, led by Dr Mathieu Lihoreau, have found that bees are able to work out the shortest route from flower to flower. Even if one nectar-rich flower becomes more attractive, bumblebees are able to weigh up how much distance and effort it will add to their ‘food stop’ if they disrupt their planned route and head straight for it. The study, published in Functional Ecology, found that if an extra stop adds more than 42% to their journey, bees tend to ‘stick to what they know’ and just fit in the attractive flower when they come to it. The story has been reported in Daily Mail.