Neuropharmacological manipulation of restrained and free-flying honey bees, apis mellifera

Eirik Søvik*, Jenny A. Plath, Jean Marc Devaud, Andrew B. Barron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Honey bees demonstrate astonishing learning abilities and advanced social behavior and communication. In addition, their brain is small, easy to visualize and to study. Therefore, bees have long been a favored model amongst neurobiologists and neuroethologists for studying the neural basis of social and natural behavior. It is important, however, that the experimental techniques used to study bees do not interfere with the behaviors being studied. Because of this, it has been necessary to develop a range of techniques for pharmacological manipulation of honey bees. In this paper we demonstrate methods for treating restrained or free-flying honey bees with a wide range of pharmacological agents. These include both noninvasive methods such as oral and topical treatments, as well as more invasive methods that allow for precise drug delivery in either systemic or localized fashion. Finally, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method and describe common hurdles and how to best overcome them. We conclude with a discussion on the importance of adapting the experimental method to the biological questions rather than the other way around.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere54695
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number117
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2016


  • Neuroscience, Issue 117
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Apis mellifera
  • learning
  • memory
  • cocaine
  • drug treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuropharmacological manipulation of restrained and free-flying honey bees, apis mellifera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this