Honeybee cognition

  • Mario Pahl
  • Jürgen Tautz
  • Shaowu Zhang


Behavioural research on honeybees has shown that bees are not the simple, hardwired creatures they were once believed to be. Bees display perceptual and ‘cognitive’ abilities that are rich, complex and flexible. In this chapter, we begin a review of these abilities with a brief introduction of the bee’s sensory equipment. Next, we describe several experimental approaches to bee behaviour. As this review is not intended to be exhaustive, we focus on behavioural experiments on free-flying honeybees. The studies described here investigate complex forms of learning and navigation, and mark important steps in understanding the processes underlying the bee’s remarkable behaviours.


Comparison Stimulus Transfer Test Sample Stimulus Waggle Dance Proboscis Extension Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Pahl
    • 1
  • Jürgen Tautz
    • 1
  • Shaowu Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.BEEgroup, BiocenterWürzburg UniversityWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Visual Sciences GroupResearch School of BiologyCanberraAustralia

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