Exploring the genetic, physiological, and behavioral basis of bees foraging.
Developmental effects on pollination efficacy in bumble bees
I use different approaches to address one of the most critical remaining gaps in our knowledge of bees, the key pollinators: understanding how early development influences the quality of workers and their pollination services.
We already know...
In my previous work, I found evidence that pollination-related behavior (specifically, sucrose responsiveness) is shaped by social effects during early development. Bumble bees exhibit both maternal and sibling care, and workers reared by the queen tend to be smaller-bodied, develop more rapidly, and are more responsive to sucrose, relative to workers reared by their siblings (Costa et al. in prep).