5. Quantifying associative appetitive learning and memory in the laboratory

The honey bee is well-known for its excellent associative learning capacities in a wide range of assays (Menzel and Müller, 1996; Menzel, 2001; Giurfa, 2007; Menzel, 2012). Both in the field and under the controlled conditions of a laboratory, bees reliably learn and remember odours, shapes and surface structures. Learning of colours is much more complicated under laboratory conditions (Gerber and Smith, 1998; Mota et al., 2011). Bees can be trained in classical and operant conditioning paradigms. In classical conditioning, the honey bee learns to associate an originally neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS) with a biologically relevant stimulus (unconditioned stimulus, US), while in operant conditioning, a bee evaluates its own behaviour and its consequences (Menzel, 2012).