Home > Papers from 2016 > From colony stress to individual learning

From colony stress to individual learning

It is well known that individual bees transfer through a set sequence of tasks within the colony, starting with tasks inside the nest when young, then switching to foraging when older. In synchrony with this sequence, specific brain circuits develop such that a forager is well suited to the necessary learning and navigation. In response to stressful environments colonies often produce precocious foragers, who emerge and forage earlier than the usual schedule. Here, Ushitani et al show that these precocious workers perform poorly on spatial tasks, which will most probably have implications for the overall foraging success (and therefore health) of a colony.
Ushitani, T., Perry, C. J., Cheng, K., & Barron, A. B. (2015). Accelerated behavioural development changes fine-scale search behaviour and spatial memory in honey bees (Apis mellifera L). Journal of Experimental Biology, jeb-126920

 

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