Behavior of honeybees found to be influenced by what they can smell


Image: Behavior of honeybees found to be influenced by what they can smell

(Natural News) A recent study published in the journal eNeutro found that certain odors can influence the behavior of honeybees. In the study, researchers from the University of Cologne and the Free University of Berlin used classical odor-reward conditioning to understand how it affects presynaptic boutons of olfactory projection neurons, as well as how it is linked to conditioned behavior.

  • Researchers have identified the mushroom body in insects as a primary center for associative learning and memory. Previous studies were unable to determine its exact location.
  • The team then studied how calcium ions (Ca2+) reacted in the boutons of the honeybees — as well as their corresponding behavior — after being exposed to learned odors.
  • Based on the results, the absolute amount of neural change was seen with rewarded odors in the insects. Unrewarded odors, on the other hand, did not yield the same amount of neural change.
  • The neural plasticity associated with rewarded odors positively correlated to the learning rate of the bees.
  • In addition, odor responses matched the changes in the temporal profile of the mushroom body associated with activity modulation of olfactory neurons.

The researchers concluded that certain learned-value stimuli can affect the conditioned behavior of honeybees.

Read the full study at this link.

Learn more about how bees help our ecosystem at Bees.news.

Journal Reference:

Haenicke J, Yamagata N, Zwaka H, Nawrot M, Menzel R. NEURAL CORRELATES OF ODOR LEARNING IN THE PRESYNAPTIC MICROGLOMERULAR CIRCUITRY IN THE HONEYBEE MUSHROOM BODY CALYX. eNeuro. 2018;5(3). DOI: 10.1523/eneuro.0128-18.2018


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