Cultural Transmission Among Honeybees

2021-2022 Summer
Faculty Department of Project Supervisor: 
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
Number of Students: 

Humans pass culture across generations, but what about other animals? In this project, we take honeybees as an example to study how non-human animals pass cultural traits to the future generations, and whether and how culture may transform over time. 
We will conduct an experiment in which honeybees to develop a specific bias and other honeybees observe the trained bees to socially learn the knowledge. We will analyze the bahviors across multiple generations to see the maintenance and modification of the culture. The project takes an interdisciplinary perspective using theories from psychology and methods from biological sciences. As such, students from different fields are encouraged to apply. Students will be responsible for literature review, setting up the experiment, conducting the experiment, and coding the data.
Required qualifications:

  • able to stay and work on campus for the duration of the PURE Project
  • interest in psychology, biology, and cognitive science
  • intellectual curiosity and the ability to learn new skills and knowledge independently
  • team player who is eager to help others and is not afraid to ask for help
  • commitment to 40 hours for the duration of the PURE Project
  • moderate to advanced communication skills in English
  • experience in bahvioral experiments is also desirable

If you are interested in applying to this project, please contact Drs. Junko Kanero ( and Christopher Mayack ( in addition to apply through the PURE system. 

Related Areas of Project: 
Molecular Biology, Genetics and Bioengineering
Cultural Studies