Sucrose responsiveness and behavioral plasticity in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

Ricarda Scheiner, Robert E. Page, Joachim Erber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


This review will focus on the relationships between sensory responses of bees and behavior. Sensory responsiveness constrains individual foraging plasticity and skews collective foraging decisions of colonies. We will concentrate on pollen, nectar, and water foraging behavior and will show that differences in the sucrose responsiveness of bees correlate with different behavioral roles, which supports the response threshold model of division of labor. We will also show how a colony's "allocation" of foragers into foraging roles results from individual differences in responsiveness to task-related stimuli and discuss hypotheses on the behavioral relevance of these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral plasticity
  • Collective decision
  • Foraging behavior
  • Response threshold model
  • Sucrose responsiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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