We proposed "foundress-max" hypothesis that a bumble bee foundress chooses her nest site to maximize her energy intake rate from nectar. To examine the hypothesis, we estimated the maximum energy intake rate at each site in the study area and compared the distribution of the maximum energy intake rates with those of actual nest sites. We also calculated rank correlations of the maximum energy intake rate with the number of nest-searching foundresses at 54 sites. The nest locations supported the foundress-max hypothesis, but the number of nest-searching foundresses did not. This could be attributed to the density of food sites: many food sites may attract many foundresses. Therefore, we subsequently proposed "foundress-sum" hypothesis that a foundress chooses her nest site to maximize the sum of energy intake rates. The nest locations supported the foundress-max hypothesis more than the foundress-sum hypothesis. A profitable food site would affect foundresses' nest site selection.
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