Navigation in honeybees: the organization of large-scale spatial memory
Honeybees navigate between nest and feeding places and communicate about places in their waggle dance. So far navigation in bees has been studied under natural conditions using the harmonic radar system. I try to move navigation tests to the lab aiming to record from mushroom body extrinsic neurons and high order visual neurons during such laboratory based navigation tests. Two test conditions will be applied, the virtual environment (VE) and the arena environment (AE). In the VE stationary bees running on an air supported treadmill control the 3D environment such that their rotatory and translator movements are translated in appropriate changes of the VE. In the AE bees localize a place according to local cues, panorama patterns and patterns on the ground. In both test conditions the sun compass is simulated and the magnetic field controlled. These experiments are carried out using honeybees, bumble bees, solitary bees (Osmia spec.) and hornets. My experiments will also address the question whether sleep supports consolidation of navigation memory.