Honeybees were trained to find sugar water at a fixed location in front of a rectangular block or a gap in a row of rectangular blocks aligned east-west. Bees learned to use both blocks and gaps to pinpoint a target place. In approach, the bees tended to head directly towards the block but not the gap. In approaching the gap, they tended to approach the wall, and then fly parallel to the wall until the gap was encountered. In approaching the block, they approached from varying directions. When the width of the block or gap was doubled, bees still searched at the same perpendicular distance from the landmark. When the height of the block was doubled, they searched farther away but not as far as double the distance on control tests, with variations across individuals. Near the target area, the bees tended to face almost parallel to the gap or block, turned slightly towards the landmark by 0-30°. In all setups, bees showed a tendency to search near the landmark, and to search on average closer than the training distance. The results confirm the basic processes identified for landmark-based search in bees, but show variations in how the steps are carried out.
- Approach flights
- Landmark-based spatial memory
- Template model