Associative olfactory learning of the red dwarf honey bee Apis florea

Roy Kaspi, Sharoni Shafir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Apis florea has a wide distribution in southeast Asia, where it is the dominant honey bee species. It is an excellent colonizer, suggesting advanced behavioral plasticity. Using the proboscis extension response (PER) conditioning method, we investigated A. florea associative olfactory learning ability and compared it to the learning performances of Apis mellifera. A. florea workers reacted to pure odorant (conditioned stimulus) only when it was delivered in paired associations with sucrose rewards (unconditioned stimulus), and discriminated between a rewarded and unrewarded odor. Moreover, A. florea levels of acquisition in olfactory associative learning were higher in our study than those of A. mellifera, and they showed better retention of learning after 24 h than A. mellifera. Our results show that A. florea can be studied using PER procedures, enlarging the scope for future comparative studies of associative olfactory learning ability in bees.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)100-109
Number of pages10
JournalApidologie
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dorit Avni, Nadav Ezra, and Yael Garbian for their helpful advice and assistance and Tatty Klass for technical assistance. Special thanks to Haim Kalev for his invaluable assistance. This research was supported by grant no. 824-0116-10 of the Chief Scientist Office, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Israel.

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • Hymenoptera
  • conditioning
  • proboscis extension response

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