Main content

Bumblebees’ Bombus impatiens (Cresson) Learning: An Ecological Context

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Kevan, Peter G.
dc.contributor.advisor Newman, Jonathan
dc.contributor.author Mirwan, Hamida B.
dc.date.accessioned 2014-09-02T18:38:01Z
dc.date.available 2014-09-02T18:38:01Z
dc.date.copyright 2014-08
dc.date.created 2014-08-12
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10214/8376
dc.description.abstract The capacities of the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, for learning and cognition were investigated by conditioning with increasingly complex series of single or multiple tasks to obtain the reinforcer (50% sucrose solution). Through operant conditioning, bumblebees could displace variously sized combinations of caps, rotate discs through various arcs (to 180°), and associate rotation direction with colour (white vs. yellow). They overcame various tasks through experience, presumably by shaping and scaffold learning. They showed incremental learning, if they had progressed through a series of easier tasks, single caps with increasing displacement complexity (to left, right, or up) or of balls with increasing masses, but could not complete the most difficult task de novo. They learned to discriminate the number of objects in artificial flower patches with one to three nectary flowers presented simultaneously in three compartments, and include chain responses with three other tasks: sliding doors, lifting caps, and rotating discs presented in fixed order. Pattern recognition and counting are parts of the foraging strategies of bumblebees. Multiple turn mazes, with several dead ends and minimal visual cues, were used to test the abilities of bumblebees to navigate by walking and remember routes after several days. They rapidly learned these mazes and remembered the routes even after 16 days. Bumblebees could learn from each other, socially by imitation, observation, and communication within the nest. They were slower to learn to forage with dead conspecific models than with living ones, whether nest-mate or non-nest-mate. Bees that had no opportunity for social learning were unable to forage. The array of experimental approaches I used for training bumblebees and my results have expanded the scope and understanding of the complexity of invertebrate learning and cognition in the context of comparative psychology, and have application to ecological and ethological principles of the evolution of learning and cognition. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tripoli- Libya en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Bees en_US
dc.subject Bumblebee en_US
dc.subject Learning en_US
dc.subject Bombus impatiens en_US
dc.title Bumblebees’ Bombus impatiens (Cresson) Learning: An Ecological Context en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.degree.programme Environmental Sciences en_US
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.degree.department Department of Environmental Biology en_US
dc.rights.license All items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Mirwan_Hamida_201408_PhD.pdf 2.091Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record