Home > Papers from 2012 > Sleepy bees

Sleepy bees

The role of sleep in the consolidation of memories is well-established in many animals. Here, Beyaert et al investigate the role of sleep for navigating bees. Individual foragers were given a navigational task where they were displaced to a novel location from where they attempted to return to the hive. They were then probed for navigational learning, by being re-tested from the same release point on a subsequent day. Half of the bees were sleep deprived before testing. It was found that the sleep deprived bees were more likely to become lost on the second release than bees which had not been sleep deprived – thus suggesting a role for sleep in the consolidation of navigational memories in bees.

Beyaert, L., Greggers, U. and Menzel, R. (2012). Honeybees consolidate navigation memory during sleep. J. Exp. Biol. 215, 3981-3988.

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