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Study: Learn Honey Bee’s use of Social Learning To Enhance their waggle dance

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Honey Bee's use of Social Learning

Honey Bee's use of Social Learning

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and the University of California, San Diego, demonstrated in a study published in science that honey bees could be used in social signal learning to increase their capability to waggle dance. The researchers created colonies where they observed the first waggles dances produced by foragers who had not followed other waggles dancers. Every five experimental colonies were established with a single cohort of one-day-old bees. “As these bees aged, we monitored the colonies until we observed the first waggle dances and then observed the same dancers 20 days later when they had more foraging and dancing experience,” said Dr. Dong Shihao, the first author of the study.
“When the same bees were older and had the experience of dance following and dancing, they significantly reduced divergence angle errors and produced more orderly dances. However, they were never able to produce normal distance encoding,” said DONG.
“Learning is a useful way to refine behaviors for local conditions. We suggest that the unique topologies of each colony’s dance floor make it advantageous for novice dancers to learn from more experienced ones. Another possibility is that experienced dancers may transmit distance encodings based on local optic flow to nest mates,” said TAN Ken of XTBG.

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