Can Bees Count?

By Meera Dolasia on January 29, 2009

Results of  a new study released by the University of Queensland , Australia prove, that honey bees can actually count - albeit only up to a certain number.

This latest research just adds to the list of things these tiny insects can do. Over the years, researchers have proved that honey bees communicate with each other by doing what scientists have dubbed the Waggle dance - something they do to let other bees know when they find a new food source. Honey bees can also form symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns and now it turns out they can even count - though only up to the number four. And all this in addition to their most important work - pollination and making yummy honey!

In the most recent study, bees were channeled through a maze whose entrance was marked with either two or three dots.  Once inside the maze, the path split into two - one marked with two and the other marked with three dots. In order to get to the sugar water reward at the end, the bees had to remember the number of dots that had been at the entrance - and they did.

The researchers believe that bees have a two-pronged memory. One remembers the number of dots, while the other remembers the rules. What's next? - to see if these amazing insects can solve some basic math problems!

While researchers have conducted and discovered that a lot of animals ( and even some fish are capable of counting and solving math problems, this was the first study that focused on insects.


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  • angielea
    angieleaMonday, June 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm
    • likemike5000
      likemike5000Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 12:05 pm
      • asjo
        asjoThursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:30 am
        nice article!
        • yobellies Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 11:10 am
          this is scary and weird but it still cool
          • mayaTuesday, September 18, 2012 at 7:40 am
            i have seen the dog they said it died
            • mayaTuesday, September 18, 2012 at 7:39 am
              I seen the waggle dance before it was amazing
              • iluvdogsMonday, May 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm
                has anybody seen Boo the world's cutest dog? peace out peeps :p iluvdogs
                • iamaboySunday, May 20, 2012 at 8:49 am
                  that is so cool
                  • PieLoverMonday, May 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm
                    Cutest dog ever!
                    • SL6Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm
                      That is cool! Bees are pretty talented.


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