Relative Size Learning in Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

10:00 AM, Saturday 9 Nov 2019 (50 minutes)
Bayside A
Basic learning in honeybees and vertebrates is surprisingly similar. These experiments address whether the similarity extends to more complex learning such as relational concept learning. Individual free-flying honeybees were trained with sucrose reward in choice experiments with different-sized blocks. The results of Experiments 1-3 indicate honeybees can learn a relative size concept. Experiment 4 incorporated relative size into a same-different problem. Bees learned to choose the different size from a set of three blocks. The results provide evidence that honeybees can learn two relational concepts simultaneously. Such an ability has been demonstrated in very few vertebrate species. These findings raise questions about the mechanisms of relational learning in vertebrates and invertebrates, particularly in light of their vastly different brain structures.
University of Hawaii at Monoa

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