2020
DOI: 10.1242/jeb.230250
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Pollen reinforces learning in honey bee pollen foragers but not in nectar foragers

Abstract: Searching for reward motivates and drives behaviour. In honey bees, Apis mellifera, specialized pollen foragers are attracted to and learn odours with pollen. However, pollen's role as a reward remains poorly understood. Unlike nectar, pollen is not ingested during collection. We hypothesized that pollen (but not nectar) foragers could learn pollen by the sole antennal or tarsal stimulation. Then, we tested how pairing of pollen (either hand- or bee-collected) and a neutral odour during a pre-conditioning affe… Show more

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Cited by 12 publications
(21 citation statements)
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“…Because the SOG is located in the ventral nerve cord, between the brain and the thoracic and abdominal ganglia, it could serve as a relay centre for information descending and ascending along the ventral nerve cord, which might be important for both the assessment of pollen with their tarsi for the control and coordination of leg movements during pollen gathering. In addition, ventral unpaired median neurons, all octopaminergic neurons, 73 innervate different parts of the SOG and the brain, and might mediate reinforcement with pollen 65 . Together, our results suggest that TYR receptor Amtyr1 in the SOG is involved in the division of labour among pollen and nectar foragers.…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 59%
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“…Because the SOG is located in the ventral nerve cord, between the brain and the thoracic and abdominal ganglia, it could serve as a relay centre for information descending and ascending along the ventral nerve cord, which might be important for both the assessment of pollen with their tarsi for the control and coordination of leg movements during pollen gathering. In addition, ventral unpaired median neurons, all octopaminergic neurons, 73 innervate different parts of the SOG and the brain, and might mediate reinforcement with pollen 65 . Together, our results suggest that TYR receptor Amtyr1 in the SOG is involved in the division of labour among pollen and nectar foragers.…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 59%
“…Because high OA levels in the brain modulate response thresholds for stimuli like odours 21 and sucrose, 20 it is plausible that OA‐treated bees were more sensitive and responsive to certain chemosensory cues of pollen, such as volatiles and tastes, 61,62 which are responsible for attracting the bees and eliciting pollen foraging behaviour 63,64 . Furthermore, because bees showing lower SRTs are less demanding regarding the reward, 61 they might also learn better with nutritional and non‐nutritional compounds available in the pollen 65 …”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…In the field, pollen selection might be based on the foragers’ innate preferences 27 30 to pollen-based cues (i.e., pollen odour, colour, and taste) and on their previous experience with neutral cues associated to pollen sources (henceforth: pollen-related cues 31 33 ). However, it is likely that pollen selection by foragers may be limited to the perception of pre-ingestive pollen cues (foragers do not consume fresh pollen at the source) .…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…Considering that nurse bees might be making decisions regarding which pollen to use to nourish the colony, we studied whether their behaviour is plastic enough to mediate the selection of pollen. We hypothesized that young bees can associate species-specific pollen-based and/or neutral pollen-related cues with nutritional or non-nutritional compounds, when pollen is used as a reinforcement 33 . We expected tasty and nutritious substances (e.g., linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid with phage-stimulating properties 42 , 43 ) to reinforce learning positively, and substances that make pollen unpalatable or harmful to bees (e.g., amygdalin or quinine that yield significant post-ingestional mortality in bees 17 , 44 ) to reinforce learning negatively.…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…In the honeybee, an efficient collection of food sources, mainly protein and carbohydrates, is achieved by the division of labor among pollen and nectar foragers. The regulation of this division of labor is still not well understood, but there is evidence that pollen and nectar foragers differ in how they perceive rewards: pollen foragers are more sensitivity to gustatory (Page et al, 1995;1998;Pankiw and Page, 2000;Arenas and Farina, 2012;Nery et al, 2020) and olfactory stimuli (Scheiner et al, 2004;Latshaw and Smith, 2005) than nectar foragers. So far, whether and to what extent the type of resource advertised (i.e.…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%