Effects of perceived danger on flower choice by bees


  • Editor, C. Bernstein


Studies on animal–flower interactions have mostly neglected the third trophic level of pollinators’ predators, even though antipredatory behaviour of pollinators may affect patterns of pollinator visitation, pollen transfer and floral traits. In three experiments, it was found that honeybees showed sensitivity to perceived danger at flowers by preferring apparently safe flowers over equally rewarding alternatives harbouring either a dead bee or a spider, and avoiding revisitation of a site where the bees had escaped a simulated predation attempt. These results suggest that bees, like other animals, take antipredatory measures, which may have far reaching effects on animal–flower interactions.