The bee can be used as a model for addiction research
The work examines the parallel between the reward system in bees as a social insect and human society.
Animals and humans share similar reactions to the effects of addictive substances, including those of their brain networks to drugs. Our review focuses on simple invertebrate models, particularly the honeybee (Apis mellifera), and on the effects of drugs on bee behaviour and brain functions. The drug effects in bees are very similar to those described in humans. Furthermore, the honeybee community is a superorganism in which many collective functions outperform the simple sum of individual functions. The distribution of reward functions in this superorganism is unique - although sublimated at the individual level, community reward functions are of higher quality. This phenomenon of collective reward may be extrapolated to other animal species living in close and strictly organised societies, i.e. humans. The relationship between sociality and reward, based on use of similar parts of the neural network (social decision-making network in mammals, mushroom body in bees), suggests a functional continuum of reward and sociality in animals.
Dvořáček J. and Kodrík D. (2022): Drug effect and addiction research with insects – from Drosophila to collective reward in honeybees. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 140: 104816.