For workers and queens of two B. terrestris colonies, our data show that the actual force an individual bumblebee exerts may greatly differ in sequential attempts. The mean values were 24.6 ± 14.8 mN (n = 103, 44 individuals) with a maximum of 59 mN for bumblebee workers (Figure 6.6A) and 46.8 ± 25.5 mN (n = 8) with a maximum of 90 mN for bumblebee queens (Figure 6.6B). In honeybee workers (A. mellifera), measured forces had a mean value of 14.0 ± 7.4 mN (n = 8) and a maximum value of 29 mN. A detailed analysis of the forces exerted by insects to gain access to the food source in the artificial flower testing device will be the subject of a separate paper .
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