More buzz on bees

For those of you who enjoyed Lev’s post last week about age-related behavioral changes in the eusocial insects, I wanted to point out this dispatch from Behrends et al., who have studied the relationship between cognitive aging and social role in the honeybee worker caste. They find that functional changes in learning performance appear to strongly correlated with social role within the hive, but not chronological age — dovetailing nicely with last week’s news that (in this particular organism) aging and mortality appear to be unconnected to physiological senescence.