Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Bees Can Commit Smells to Memory

Sugar Gives Bee Brains a Buzz
ABC, 2/8/2010

Trained bees may be part of the future of horticulture.

A study by the Brain Institute at the University of Queensland has found the honey bee's brain works by committing important smells to memory, and forgetting the rest.

Senior research fellow Judith Reinhard says that new information could allow them to train bees to focus on pollinating certain crops only.

She says, if it works, it could be a much more effective way of using bees in horticulture, and save farmers time.

"Honey bees are like little children, they'll do anything for a bit of sweet," she says.

"Now if we put this odour together with sugar water in the hive, when they fly out and they smell the avocado, or the almond aroma, they will go for for them and pollinate these flowers."

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This phenomenon was discovered decades ago in Russia.]

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