Section 26
Chapter 25,705

The choice of drinking water by the honey bee

Butler, C.G.

Jour Exp Biol 17(3): 253-261


Accession: 025704230

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By means of a training table, expts. were carried out in which the dishes containing the solns. in question were arranged in the form of a Latin square to permit rapid statistical analysis of the results. The honey bee prefers dilute NaCl and NH4Cl solns. to distilled water if the conc. of these salts solns. is less than A720; it appears unable to distinguish between TV/160 NaCl or N/160 NH4Cl and distilled water. It is probably attracted to polluted water such as sewage effluent by a water-perception sense coupled with an olfactory sense. If the volatile substances present in distillates from the various naturally occurring solns. are absorbed by animal charcoal the honey bee can no longer distinguish these solns. from distilled water. The salts contained in these sources of drinking water do not appear to play an important part in attracting the bee. It was found possible to express the preference shown by the honey bee for various solns. by means of numerical factors based on distilled water having an arbitrary factor of 10.[long dash]40 solns. are arranged in order of preference by this means.

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