BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have found that hornets possess olfactory learning and long-term olfactory memory.
Researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden have provided evidence of olfactory learning and long-term olfactory memory in Asian hornet species Vespa velutina. The research was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Odor detection plays an important role in the foraging and intraspecific communication of Asian hornets. Researchers measured and compared the olfactory learning and memorizing ability between the queen bee, drones and workers. Although they could all learn and remember odors associated with a food reward, the queen bee has better memorizing ability.
They found that queen bees and drones were able to retain olfactory memory for a long period, up to 30 days.
The study aids the understanding of the outstanding cognitive abilities of social insects, according to the research team.