TitleTemporal effects of sugar intake on fly local search and honey bee dance behaviour.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsShakeel M, Brockmann A
JournalJ Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol
Date Published2023 Aug 25

Honey bees communicate flight navigational information of profitable food to nestmates via their dance, a small-scale walking pattern, inside the nest. Hungry flies and honey bee foragers exhibit a sugar-elicited search involving path integration that bears a resemblance to dance behaviour. This study aimed to investigate the temporal dynamics of the initiation of sugar-elicited search and dance behaviour, using a comparative approach. Passive displacement experiments showed that feeding and the initiation of search could be spatially and temporally dissociated. Sugar intake increased the probability of initiating a search but the actual onset of walking triggers the path integration system to guide the search. When prevented from walking after feeding, flies and bees maintained their motivation for a path integration-based search for a duration of 3 min. In flies, turning and associated characters were significantly reduced during this period but remained higher than in flies without sugar stimulus. These results suggest that sugar elicits two independent behavioural responses: path integration and increased turning, with the initiation and duration of path integration system being temporally restricted. Honey bee dance experiments demonstrated that the motivation of foragers to initiate dance persisted for 15 min, while the number of circuits declined after 3 min following sugar ingestion. Based on these findings, we propose that food intake during foraging increases the probability to initiate locomotor behaviours involving the path integration system in both flies and honey bees, and this ancestral connection might have been co-opted and elaborated during the evolution of dance communication by honey bees.

Alternate JournalJ Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol
PubMed ID37624392
PubMed Central ID1779631
Grant List12P4167 / / Tata Institute of Fundamental Research /