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The effects of outside noise stimuli on honey bee foraging

Hoffman, Mimi DeGrandi (2022) The effects of outside noise stimuli on honey bee foraging. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Auditory signals influence numerous honey bee behaviors. The waggle dance, which is used by foragers to communicate the location of food sources, utilizes acoustic signaling to convey information to nestmates. Though the importance of auditory communication in honey bee foraging is widely accepted, it is unknown if these signals can be disrupted by the sounds of the surrounding environment. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of outside noise on honey bee foraging. A literature review was conducted on the mechanisms of honey bee hearing as well as behaviors that use auditory communication. The Johnston’s organ, located on the pedical of the antenna, is used for hearing, and allows bees to hear at frequencies of 100-300 Hz. Several behaviors utilize auditory communication. Communication between queens utilizes substrate-borne vibrations. The waggle dance, a key part of foraging behaviors, uses airborne vibrations to communicate the distance and direction of food sources from the colony. Finally, auditory communication is used for all parts of swarming behaviors. Chapter 2 reports the results from a field study which examined the effects of outside noise on honey bee foraging. We did this by placing colonies in an enclosed flight arena and attaching noise emitters to a treatment group. Feeders were then placed in the arena and foraging ability of workers in the treatment and control group was compared. Treated colonies showed similar foraging ability as non-treated colonies. Using these results, we determined that outside noise does not negatively impact honey bee foraging. However, as this phenomenon has not been widely researched, and we only used one acoustic treatment, therefore more studies in this topic are needed to continue to examine this relationship. Finally, Chapter 3 examines the benefits and drawbacks of urban beekeeping and gives management recommendations on the continuation of this practice. Urban beekeeping has seen an increase in popularity over the last several decades, and many cities have adopted this practice. Urban beekeeping has many benefits, including community building and the creation of urban green spaces. However, there are also several drawbacks to this practice including risk of stings and negative impacts to native bee populations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: communication; foraging; honey bees; sound
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences > School of Forestry
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2022 21:38
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2022 21:38
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5882

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