When not satiated prior to training, there were no differences between foragers and nurse honey bees in the acquisition of an appetitively based conditioned response in an olfactory associative learning assay, but when satiated foragers showed faster acquisition than did nurses. Satiation-related differences between foragers and nurses were more a function of behavioral state than age, because satiated precocious foragers also showed faster acquisition rates than did satiated nurse bees, despite their similar ages. Tests of sucrose responsiveness and retention of conditioned responses indicate that the observed performance differences between nurses and foragers were more likely due to differential sensitivity of sensory and motor processes related to satiation rather than differences in cognitive ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-899
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology - A Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001


  • Apis mellifera
  • Associative learning Division of labor
  • Hymenoptera
  • Proboscis extension reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Satiation differentially affects performance in a learning assay by nurse and forager honey bees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this