How to Train a Honey Bee

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In the early twentieth century, Karl von Frisch performed seminal work on the organization of social behavior of honey bees. Much of his work involved training individual foragers to distant artificial feeders. Similar training methods have been used in research laboratories for the better part of a century, and these methods lend themselves well to advanced undergraduate biology classes in animal behavior. In recent years, students have used these methods in group projects to study color preference and time-memory. In this Technical Paper, we describe the basic steps of training honey bees to a distant feeder. We also provide alternative methods for answering specific types of questions that students in animal behavior classes might wish to address.

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