|The research of the honey bee research unit (Forschungstelle für Bienenkunde) deals with many aspects of the behaviour of honeybees (Apis mellifera) . Honeybees show unique behaviour on the individual as well as on the colony level. The complexity of honeybee behaviour is one of the most highly developed in the whole animal kingdom.
After a detailed study of the olfactory system of worker and male bees (drones) which show a sexual dimorphism in their brain structures, I have extended my research topic towards a comparison of the European and Asian honeybee species, Apis mellifera and Apis florea. The minaturisation of the brain of the dwarf honeybee, Apis florea might lead to behavioural constraints concerning learning and memory storage of individuals as measured with the PER paradigm. We study their brain structure in relation to various cognitive abilities of individuals as well as of the colony as a whole.
A second topic that I pursue is the comparison of cognitive functions of humans in art and science. How many common principles are there to be found in pictoral presentations, colour codings and figures of artists and scientists.This work is jointly done with the artist Bärbel Rothhaar partly on the basis of her work with living bees in art.