A Study Into Their Feeding Preferences Essay

1348 Words Dec 6th, 2016 6 Pages
The importance of bees to our agriculture merits a study into their feeding preferences. Bees pollinate a large proportion of crops and without them there would be a rapid decline in crop production. The connection between bee feeding preferences and flower pigmentation is examined using Viola cornuta. Three color variations were used including dark violet, light violet, and white flowers. Each variation was observed for ten minutes in one minute intervals and this was repeated in ten different trials starting at 1:00PM at Tallahassee Nursery. The trend resulting from the data showed strongest preference for the most pigmented dark violet flowers and weakest preference for the least pigmented white flowers. There are many factors to take into account when considering why this may have been the trend including visual interest and nectar rewards. It may be that the bee is visually more attracted to dark violet flowers or that bees may be evolutionarily adapted to associate more pigment with higher nectar reward.

Introduction Bees are one of the most important pollinators and our agricultural infrastructure is heavily dependent upon them. They pollinate approximately seventy-five percent of crops grown in the United States alone (Moisset, 2011). To be able to make use of important agricultural techniques, such as planned bee pollination, it would be instrumental to understand what exactly attracts bees to certain flowers. Attracting bees to crops may be as simple as having…

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