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Modelling the effects of repellent chemicals on foraging bees

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Many pesticide sprays that are used for crop protection are harmful to honey-bees. It can therefore be beneficial to add to the spray chemical compounds that are repellent to bees, to discourage them from feeding on recently sprayed crops. Experiments were conducted using an artificial feeding station to assess the repellent effects of various compounds. In this system, bees arrive at the feeding station, choose between feeding dishes to which different chemicals have been added, feed for a variable period and then depart. The number of bees at each feeding dish is recorded at intervals of 1 min. We discuss the analysis of data from this type of experiment, based on a queuing theory model.
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Keywords: Apis mellifera; Feeding station; Gamma distribution; Honey-bee; M/G/∞ queue

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Kent, Canterbury, UK 2: Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia 3: East Malling Research, West Malling, UK

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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