Dominance of the odometer over serial landmark learning in honeybee navigation
Honeybees use their visual flow field to measure flight distance. It has been suggested that the experience of serial landmarks encountered on the flight toward a feeding place contributes to distance estimation. Here, we address this question by tracing the flight paths of individual bees with a harmonic radar system. Bees were trained along an array of three landmarks (tents), and the distance between these landmarks was either increased or decreased under two test conditions. We find that absolute distance estimation dominates the search for the feeding place, but serial position effects are also found. In the latter case, bees search only or additionally at locations determined by serial experience of the landmarks.
KeywordsDistance estimation Counting Serial object detection Radar tracing
The study was supported by DFG grant Me 365/34-1. We are most grateful to Prof. W.D. Haass and Dipl.-Ing. B. Fischer for constructing and building the harmonic radar device.
- von Frisch K (1965) Tanzsprache und Orientierung der Bienen. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar