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Understanding the role of recruitment communication for colony foraging success in stingless bees (Meliponini)

Grant number: 15/24617-2
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: February 15, 2016 - March 13, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal Investigator:Fábio Santos do Nascimento
Grantee:Fábio Santos do Nascimento
Visiting researcher: Christoph Grueter
Visiting researcher institution: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Germany
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Social insects often rely on information provided by nest-mates to locate resources. Many ants, termites and stingless bees use pheromone trails for recruitment, while the honey bee (Apis mellifera) uses an intricate 'dance language' to communicate the location of food sources to fellow workers. We plan to study 8 species of stingless bees with different recruitment methods to test the prediction that foragers of species with recruitment communication exploit higher quality food sources. This prediction arises from the fact that foragers often only recruit to high quality food sources and thereby "filter information" for their nestmates. (AU)