Bee Brains Learn Which Smells Will Deliver the Sweets

GreenTracker| German researchers working with neurobiologist Randolf Menzel better understand the relationship between odor and nectar of flowers and a bee’s brain.

Nectar-collecting bees were caught and sent to a lab where they were exposed to five difference artificial fragrances. Next the bees entered a learning phase, where one of the odors was always followed by an offering of a drop of sugar solution.

In this classically Pavlovian experiment, the bees quickly learned to extend their probosces, collecting the sugar whenever the reward-associated odor was present.  And the bees remembered the sweet-rendering smell for three hours after learning.

Further research confirmed that during the conditioning phase of the experiment, the learning neurons in the bee brain remained quiet. But three hours after learning, more neurons fired up confirming to researchers that they had actually found the long-term memory learning part of the bee brain. via Science Daily