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Crop Science Abstract -

Blue Saturation Discrimination by Honeybees and its Potential Influence on Cross Pollination1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 22 No. 4, p. 752-755
    Received: Apr 10, 1981

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  1. Larry R. Kipp and
  2. Charles E. Mason2



Blue saturation discrimination of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) was investigated using artificial flowers constructed of Munsell standard colored matte paper with blue 7.5 PB 5/10 (Bmmax), 7.5 PB 5/6 (Bmed), and 7.5 PB 5/2 (Bmin). Bees trained to Bmax, could distinguish Bmax from Bmin, though discrimination of Bmax from Bmed was not demonstrated. In a test of the reciprocal of the former test, bees trained to Bmin could not discriminate it from Bmax. This and tests with three saturation levels of green suggest that honeybee blue saturation discrimination is inferior to their color discrimination. However, these results indicate that honeybees may not forage randomly among plant genotypes having flowers of the same color with differences in saturation levels beyond Bmax and Bmin, especially when a greater reward is provided by the one with greatest color saturation.

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