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Color of clothes when doing bee foraging behavior

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  • Droege, Sam
    All: I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations. Any observations out
    Message 1 of 10 , May 2, 2014
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      All:

      I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

      Any observations out there?

      Thanks

      sam

      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

      "Earth laughs in flowers."
                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson

      --
      Bees are Not Optional
      Apes sunt et non liberum
    • Zak Gezon
      I haven t noticed anything when catching bees, but I have when catching butterflies. I used to do quite a bit of butterfly collecting when I lived in Costa
      Message 2 of 10 , May 2, 2014
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        I haven't noticed anything when catching bees, but I have when catching butterflies.  I used to do quite a bit of butterfly collecting when I lived in Costa Rica and found that bright blue shirts would draw in the Morphos.  

        zak


        On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Droege, Sam <sdroege@...> wrote:
         

        All:

        I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

        Any observations out there?

        Thanks

        sam

        Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
        w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
        USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
        BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
        Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

        "Earth laughs in flowers."
                        -Ralph Waldo Emerson

        --
        Bees are Not Optional
        Apes sunt et non liberum




        --
        Zak Gezon
        PhD Candidate, Dartmouth College
        78 College St.
        Life Sciences Center
        Biological Sciences Dept.
        Hanover, NH  03755
      • Andrew Lybbert
        Many of you may have noticed that the fluorescent colors of the 80 s are back in style, especially for work out clothes. I had a student last year that wore a
        Message 3 of 10 , May 2, 2014
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          Many of you may have noticed that the fluorescent colors of the 80's are back in style, especially for work out clothes. I had a student last year that wore a fluorescent colored running top to do some field work and she was covered by bees all day. Fortunately she was doing vegetation surveys far from where we were collecting bees at the time. I have no quantified data, but would argue that the color of clothes could definitely influence visitation/foraging patterns. I have also noticed a lot of bee action on my skin depending on the type of sun screen I'm wearing. This has been my experience in the Mojave Desert, where I do all my field work.

          Respectfully,

          Andrew Lybbert
          MS Student - Plant & Wildlife Sciences
          Brigham Young University


          Sent from my iPhone

          On May 2, 2014, at 6:26 AM, "Droege, Sam" <sdroege@...> wrote:

           

          All:

          I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

          Any observations out there?

          Thanks

          sam

          Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
          w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
          USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
          BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
          Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

          "Earth laughs in flowers."
                          -Ralph Waldo Emerson

          --
          Bees are Not Optional
          Apes sunt et non liberum

        • Crystal Boyd
          Good question! I d love to study this, but here are some anecdotes: I was wearing a blue T-shirt on a prairie burn unit in Minnesota last May. A queen bumble
          Message 4 of 10 , May 2, 2014
          Good question! I'd love to study this, but here are some anecdotes:

          I was wearing a blue T-shirt on a prairie burn unit in Minnesota last May. A queen bumble bee landed on me and tried to feed. This is an extreme case of one blue T-shirt surrounded by acres of black ash.

          Also, I was wearing a white long-sleeve shirt while collecting in a Minnesota jack pine forest last May. The area experienced severe blow downs from winds the previous year, so I was a white spot surrounded by acres of downed trees. Several bees landed on me and my white net, trying to feed.

          Finally, I've heard that roadside workers wearing fluorescent yellow vests are stung more often those wearing orange vests.

          These stories might indicate that bees alter their foraging path based on visual cues from clothing. Hope this helps.
          -Crystal

          PS: Photos of  the prairie burn unit and jack pine blow down are attached.




          On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 7:26 AM, Droege, Sam <sdroege@...> wrote:
           

          All:

          I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

          Any observations out there?

          Thanks

          sam

          Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
          w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
          USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
          BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
          Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

          "Earth laughs in flowers."
                          -Ralph Waldo Emerson

          --
          Bees are Not Optional
          Apes sunt et non liberum


        • Gordon W. FRANKIE
          Hi Sam, I always wear dull browns, faded blues, and light green, but I also do not use wide-rimmed hats when doing these close observations. Baseball hat
          Message 5 of 10 , May 2, 2014
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            Hi Sam,

            I always wear dull browns, faded blues, and light green, but I also do not use wide-rimmed hats when doing these close observations.  Baseball hat seems to be less threatening to the bees.

            Gordon Frankie


            On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 5:26 AM, Droege, Sam <sdroege@...> wrote:
             

            All:

            I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

            Any observations out there?

            Thanks

            sam

            Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
            w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
            USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
            BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
            Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

            "Earth laughs in flowers."
                            -Ralph Waldo Emerson

            --
            Bees are Not Optional
            Apes sunt et non liberum


          • Peter Bernhardt
            Dear Sam: What about smell? The late Dr, L. W. Macior never let his students observe and collect bumblebees if they were wearing mosquito repellent, cologne,
            Message 6 of 10 , May 2, 2014
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              Dear Sam:

              What about smell?  The late Dr, L. W. Macior never let his students observe and collect bumblebees if they were wearing mosquito repellent, cologne, after shave or perfumes.  The absence of mosquito repellent was rather hard on the students he brought to the Alaskan tundra in summer.  However, Walter also believed that these scents attracted bears.

              Peter


              On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 7:26 AM, Droege, Sam <sdroege@...> wrote:
               

              All:

              I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

              Any observations out there?

              Thanks

              sam

              Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
              w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
              USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
              BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
              Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

              "Earth laughs in flowers."
                              -Ralph Waldo Emerson

              --
              Bees are Not Optional
              Apes sunt et non liberum


            • Peter Bernhardt
              Dear Crystal: I understand that large pieces of purple, plastic make successful traps (when covered with some adhesive) to trap emergent Agrilus planipennis
              Message 7 of 10 , May 2, 2014
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                Dear Crystal:

                I understand that large pieces of  purple, plastic make successful traps (when covered with some adhesive) to trap emergent Agrilus planipennis (the invasive, emerald ash borer beetle).  As it is a cerambycid it consumes floral products as an adult.  In New York and New England I understand that these purple devices are called Barneys.

                Peter 




                On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 7:54 AM, Crystal Boyd <Crystal.Boyd@...> wrote:
                 
                [Attachment(s) from Crystal Boyd included below]

                Good question! I'd love to study this, but here are some anecdotes:

                I was wearing a blue T-shirt on a prairie burn unit in Minnesota last May. A queen bumble bee landed on me and tried to feed. This is an extreme case of one blue T-shirt surrounded by acres of black ash.

                Also, I was wearing a white long-sleeve shirt while collecting in a Minnesota jack pine forest last May. The area experienced severe blow downs from winds the previous year, so I was a white spot surrounded by acres of downed trees. Several bees landed on me and my white net, trying to feed.

                Finally, I've heard that roadside workers wearing fluorescent yellow vests are stung more often those wearing orange vests.

                These stories might indicate that bees alter their foraging path based on visual cues from clothing. Hope this helps.
                -Crystal

                PS: Photos of  the prairie burn unit and jack pine blow down are attached.




                On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 7:26 AM, Droege, Sam <sdroege@...> wrote:
                 

                All:

                I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

                Any observations out there?

                Thanks

                sam

                Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
                w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
                USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
                BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
                Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

                "Earth laughs in flowers."
                                -Ralph Waldo Emerson

                --
                Bees are Not Optional
                Apes sunt et non liberum



              • Rachna Pande
                yes Color of clothes have impact on pollinator especially honey bee. I observed that if I wear yellow clothes honey bee attract more to me ...as in
                Message 8 of 10 , May 3, 2014
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                  yes Color of clothes have impact on pollinator especially  honey bee.  I observed that if I wear yellow clothes honey bee attract more to me ...as in comparison to other days...
                  --
                  With regards,

                  Dr. RACHNA PANDE
                  Scientist, ARS (Entomology)
                  Division of Crop Improvement
                  ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region
                  Umroi road, Umiam, 793 103
                  Meghalaya 
                  INDIA

                  " Smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight "
                • Anita M. Collins
                  Ok guys, from von Frisch working with honey bees, Apis mellifera, trained workers to discriminate by color. Trained them to a specific color dish with good
                  Message 9 of 10 , May 3, 2014
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                    Ok guys,

                    from von Frisch working with honey bees, Apis mellifera, trained workers to discriminate by color. Trained them to a specific color dish with good sugar syrup and then asked them to pick out that color dish from other colors.  They train well to yellow, blue and some whites.  Also to UV reflectant whites.  Some photos of white flowers were taken that showed nectar guides that reflected in UV.  Say lines or rows of dots to location of nectaries.  They do not see into the red wavelengths, so do not discriminate between black and red.  Green seems to a somewhat neutral color,they don't train readily to green, background to the others.  Black spots on light background means the spot gets stitched to your skin by stings. Conclusion: don't wear white shirts with black logos.  

                    It's a routine for beekeepers to not wear cologne, aftershave, hairspray and the like, as the bees sting more.  I've done some work with Africanized bees and found that they were repelled by DEET containing repellents as low as 3%, IF the repellent was sprayed AT them.  They were not repelled by the same material sprayed on skin or clothes.  We would spray at the bees following us from an apiary and they would be gone with 10 yards.  Without repellent they'd follow for up to a mile.  
                     
                    Anita Collins
                     
                     
                    If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
                    Albert Einstein
                     
                    On 05/02/14, Droege, Sam<sdroege@...> wrote:
                     
                     

                    All:

                    I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

                    Any observations out there?

                    Thanks

                    sam

                    Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
                    w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
                    USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
                    BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
                    Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

                    "Earth laughs in flowers."
                                    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

                    --
                    Bees are Not Optional
                    Apes sunt et non liberum
                  • Leslie Saul
                    All, I have noted that in many localities that anthophorine bees approach and hover if one wears a white shirt, but that usually only happens when one first
                    Message 10 of 10 , May 4, 2014
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                      All,

                      I have noted that in many localities that anthophorine bees approach and hover if one wears a white shirt, but that usually only happens when one first appears in the habitat space.  Hence, I usually where, khaki shirts and hats and pants.  

                      Leslie

                      L. Saul-Gershenz
                      U. C. Davis
                      Department of Entomology
                      One Shields Ave.
                      Davis, Ca, 

                       
                      On May 2, 2014, at 5:26 AM, Droege, Sam wrote:

                       

                      All:

                      I just had a query that asked if wearing clothes the color of flowers could impact the behavior of bee foraging investigations.

                      Any observations out there?

                      Thanks

                      sam

                      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
                      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
                      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
                      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
                      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

                      "Earth laughs in flowers."
                                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson

                      --
                      Bees are Not Optional
                      Apes sunt et non liberum


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