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Invertebrates have contributed greatly to our understanding of associative learning because they allow learning protocols to be combined with experimental access to the nervous system. The honeybee Apis mellifera constitutes a standard model for the study of appetitive learning and memory since it was shown, almost a century ago, that bees learn to(More)
It is generally accepted that young worker bees (Apis mellifera L.) are highly attracted to queen mandibular pheromone (QMP). Our results challenge this widely held view. We have found that unless young workers are exposed to QMP early in adult life, they, like foragers, avoid contact with this pheromone. Our data indicate that responses to QMP are(More)
Queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) has profound effects on dopamine signaling in the brain of young worker honey bees. As dopamine in insects has been strongly implicated in aversive learning, we examined QMP's impact on associative olfactory learning in bees. We found that QMP blocks aversive learning in young workers, but leaves appetitive learning intact.(More)
Here, we examine effects of the steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20-E), on associative olfactory learning in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. 20-E impaired the bees' ability to associate odors with punishment during aversive conditioning, but did not interfere with their ability to associate odors with a food reward (appetitive learning). The steroid had a(More)
Honey bee queens produce a sophisticated array of chemical signals (pheromones) that influence both the behavior and physiology of their nest mates. Most striking are the effects of queen mandibular pheromone (QMP), a chemical blend that induces young workers to feed and groom the queen and primes bees to perform colony-related tasks. But how does this(More)
Harnessed bees learn to associate an odorant with an electric shock so that afterward the odorant alone elicits the sting extension response (SER). We studied the dependency of retention on interstimulus interval (ISI), intertrial interval (ITI), and number of conditioning trials in the framework of olfactory SER conditioning. Forward ISIs (conditioned(More)
Mating is a complex process, which is frequently associated with behavioural and physiological changes. However, understanding of the genetic underpinnings of these changes is limited. Honey bees are both a model system in behavioural genomics, and the dominant managed pollinator of human crops; consequently understanding the mating process has both pure(More)
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