Animal Cognition

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 117–125 | Cite as

Same/different discrimination by bumblebee colonies

  • Michael F. Brown
  • Justin M. Sayde
Original Paper


Bumblebees were exposed to a discrimination procedure in which reinforcement was contingent on choice of one of two spatial locations. The correct choice depended on whether a stimulus display contained two identical stimuli or two different stimuli. Some bees were trained with color stimuli and tested with line grating stimuli and others with the opposite arrangement. Four colonies of bumblebees produced more correct than incorrect choices to both identical and different stimuli during the transfer phase. This pattern of results is a signature of choices under control of an identity (“same/different”) concept. The results therefore indicate the existence of an identity concept in bumblebees.


Bumblebee Concept learning Same/different concept Identity concept 



This research was supported in part by a Faculty Summer Research Grant from Villanova University. Data from two of the bee colonies were included in the M.S. thesis of Justin Sayde, who is currently at Tufts University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

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