Robinson Lab

BeekeepersThe Robinson Lab uses the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, to understand the evolution and mechanisms of social behavior. Among the species of animals, the most attuned to their social environment are the social insects, which include the honey bee. They live in societies that rival our own in complexity and internal cohesion.

Our goal is to explain the function and evolution of behavioral mechanisms that integrate the activity of individuals in a society, neural and neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate behavior within the brain of the individual, and the genes that influence social behavior. We focus on the most fundamental social behavior system in the honey bee colony, the division of labor among colony members. We also investigate other behaviors, including dance language, colony defense and reproductive behavior in the usually sterile workers.

Our Principal Investigator is Gene Robinson.

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