An exploratory study of social preferences in bumblebees (bombus terrestris)
MetadataShow full item record
Research on social preference is essential to improve the understanding of social learning in human and nonhuman animals. Bumblebees often navigate through their environment using social cues when foraging, which is advantageous for eusocial animals because it optimizes the long-term consequences of developing and maintaining survival fitness. The present exploratory study presents a procedure to assess social preference in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Five bumblebees were exposed to a social preference tests procedure using a Y-maze that included options of spending time in an arm with a colony- mate or an empty arm. Results suggest that three out of five bumblebees showed social preference in the first social preference test followed by a decrease in the following test conditions. The two remaining bumblebees did not show initial social preference and were biased towards one alternative in baseline conditions. Results are discussed from a behavior analytic perspective, and future research implementing the proposed social preference procedure is presented.