Windy Condition Affected Colour Discrimination in Bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus)
[Durch Windverhältnisse beeinflußte Farbunterscheidung bei Hummeln (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus)]
Dyer, A. G
Insect pollinators often operate under climatic conditions that may not be optimal for flying [Vicens & Bosch 2000]. Colour vision in bees is an important cue for reliably identifying rewarding flowers [Giurfa 2004, Dyer & Chittka 2004, Dyer 2006]. Experiments on the ability of bees to make reliable colour discriminations in laboratory conditions indicates that under ‘optimal’ conditions very small differences in colour can be perceived [Von Helversen 1972, Dyer & Chittka 2004]. However, it is important to know if this level of discrimination might be maintained if bees are required to operate in sub-optimal windy conditions. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) were trained using four 200 Hz Duro-Test 40W True-lite tubes as illumination and a horizontal flight arena 70x50x50 (WxLxH) cm. Stimuli representing flowers were two types (target and distractor) of 26 mm painted plastic discs [Dyer & Chittka 2004]; colour distance between stimuli were calculated in a hexagon model and was 0.090 hexagon units.