Honey bees navigate according to a map-like spatial memory

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Menzel, R., Greggers, U., Smith, A. D., Berger, S., Brandt, R., Brunke, S., Bundrock, G., Hulse, S., Plumpe, T., Schaupp, F., Schuttler, E., Stach, S., Stindt, J., Stollhoff, N. and Watzl, S. 2005. Honey bees navigate according to a map-like spatial memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (8), pp. 3040-3045. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0408550102

AuthorsMenzel, R., Greggers, U., Smith, A. D., Berger, S., Brandt, R., Brunke, S., Bundrock, G., Hulse, S., Plumpe, T., Schaupp, F., Schuttler, E., Stach, S., Stindt, J., Stollhoff, N. and Watzl, S.
Abstract

By using harmonic radar, we report the complete flight paths of displaced bees. Test bees forage at a feeder or are recruited by a waggle dance indicating the feeder. The flights are recorded after the bees are captured when leaving the hive or the feeder and are released at an unexpected release site. A sequence of behavioral routines become apparent: (i) initial straight flights in which they fly the course that they were on when captured (foraging bees) or that they learned during dance communication (recruited bees); (ii) slow search flights with frequent changes of direction in which they attempt to “get their bearings”; and (iii) straight and rapid flights directed either to the hive or first to the feeding station and then to the hive. These straight homing flights start at locations all around the hive and at distances far out of the visual catchment area around the hive or the feeding station. Two essential criteria of a map-like spatial memory are met by these results: bees can set course at any arbitrary location in their familiar area, and they can choose between at least two goals. This finding suggests a rich, map-like organization of spatial memory in navigating honey bees.

Keywordsdance; communication; localization in navigation; vector orientation; vector map
Year of Publication2005
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Journal citation102 (8), pp. 3040-3045
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0408550102
Open accessPublished as bronze (free) open access
Funder project or code510
An harmonic radar investigation of the navigational performance of honey bees
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Publisher copyright
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Feb 2005
ISSN0027-8424
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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