AChems Press Release

Roses Make Life Sweeter, But Only In The Lab

Bees respond to more dilute sucrose solutions when rose scent is present. But the effect could not be detected when bees were tested in the field.

Honey bees were tested for responses to different concentrations of sucrose in the presence and absence of floral and fruit odors. The rose odor geraniol enhanced responses to dilute sucrose solutions when immobilized bees were tested using a gustatory response assay in the lab. Surprisingly, no effect of geraniol was detected when free-flying bees were tested in the field. A simultaneous olfactory input can therefore change perception of sweetness in bees, but whether this influences the performance of bees as pollinators under natural conditions remains an open question. (contact: Susan E. Fahrbach, fahrbach@wfu.edu; +1 336 829 8008).

Authors: Allyson Pel, Stephanie Hathaway, Susan E. Fahrbach

The poster presentation “Interaction of taste and smell on perception of sweetness in honey bees” (#P416) takes place Tuesday April 16th, 9:00-11:00 pm ET in the Estero Ballroom