Keith Waddington (second from right) and graduating PhD students
(left to right) Afonso Orth, Sandra Perez and Gui Deng.

I have two main lines of work underway:

1.  One line of research centers on foraging behavior, decision-making and communication in bees. This focus has led me to develop and test theories of foraging behavior and to investigate the evolution of communication systems. I have developed novel techniques for quantifying nectarivore foraging behavior.

In one recent line of research, I am investigating how the costs and intakes of foraging are perceived by honey bees
and how they use this information to choose among flowers. I use artificial flowers in the laboratory so that bees' energy and time budgets can be manipulated.  The bees' perception of costs and intakes is quantified by using an aspect of their communication dance that changes with foraging profits.  I use this information to understand and predict floral choice. One goal of this work is to better understand the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants and their pollinators.

2. I am studying plant-pollinator interactions in Everglades National Park. We are sampling flower-visiting insects on several permanent sites in each of three Everglades habitats.  We are also sampling honey bees using  swarm containers and stem-nesting bees using wooden stem nests.  Our long-term goal is to quantify the effects of Africanized honey bees  on native pollinator populations.


B.S., University of Akron, 1969
M.S., Ohio State University, 1969-1971
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1973-1977
Postdoctoral Work: University of California, Berkeley, 1978-1979


Behavioral ecology, foraging behavior; decision-making; perception; communication; pollination biology, Everglades pollination systems

Recent Representative Publications:

Waddington, K.D. 1995. Bumblebees do not respond to variance in nectar concentration. Ethology 101: 33-38.

Page R., Waddington, K., Hunt, G. and Fondrk, M.K. 1995. Genetic determinants of honey bee foraging behaviour. Animal behaviour 50: 1617-1625.

Perez, S. & Waddington, K.D. 1996. Carpenter bee (Xylocopa micans) risk indifference and a review of nectarivore risk-sensitivity studies. American Zoologist 36, 435-446.

Waddington, K.D., H. Esch, and J. Burns. 1996. The effects of season, pretraining, and scent on the efficiency of traps for capturing recruited honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of Insect Behavior (3): 451-459.

Orth, A. and K.D. Waddington. 1997. Hierarchical use of information by nectar-foraging carpenter bees on vertical inflorescences: floral color and spatial position. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 45:213-221.

Deng, G. and K.D. Waddington. 1997. Methoprene does not affect food preferences and foraging performance in honey bee workers. Journal of Insect Behavior 10:229-235.

Waddington, K.D., Nelson, C.M. & Page, R.E. 1998. Effects of pollen quality and genotype on the dance of foraging honey bees. Animal Behaviour 56, 35-39.

Pascarella, J.B., K.D. Waddington, and P.R. Neal. 1999. The bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of Everglades National Park, Florida and Adjacent areas: Distribution, phenology, and biogeography. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 72(1):32-45.

Pascarella, J., K.D. Waddington, and P. Neal. 2000. Non-Apoid flower-visiting fauna of Everglades National Park, Florida. Biodiversity and Conservation 10(4): 551-566.

Waddington, K.D. 2001. Subjective evaluation and choice-behavior of nectar and pollen collecting bees. In: Cognitive Ecology of Pollination: Animal Behavior and Floral Evolution. Cambridge University Press. pp. 41-60.

Pankiw, T., K.D. Waddington, and R.E. Page. 2001. Modulation of sucrose response thresholds in honey bees: factors affecting honey bees' assessments of sucrose concentration. Journal of Comparative Physiology 187 (4): 293-301.


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