Adrian Dyer: See like a bee: think like a bee

With growing interest in how to best study plant-pollinator interactions it is of high value to understand how important pollinators like bees see their world, and how flowers have evolved signals to promote optimal forager visits. We will discuss how recent advances in photography enable the recording of flower UV, Blue and Green reflectances to map both the spatial and colour variability of signals. We will also show how innovative photographic techniques can be used to map the spatial resolution of flower shapes, and explain why foraging choices for flower visual signals are extremely difficult at distances greater than about half a metre. To solve the complexities of the limited resolution of the compound eye, we will finally discuss recent behavioural evidence that bees use cognitive-like solutions like counting to enable survival in a complex, changing environments.