Image of the Day: Brainy Bees

Bees can learn complex behaviors to obtain rewards.

By | February 24, 2017

O.J.LOUKOLA ET AL., SCIENCE(See O.J. Loukola et al., “Bumblebees show cognitive flexibility by improving on an observed complex behavior,” Science, doi:10.1126/science.aag2360, 2017.)

 
 

 

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Avatar of: JonRichfield

JonRichfield

Posts: 136

February 24, 2017

Veeerrrryyyy interesting.

On reflection, thinking on all the flower pollination mechanisms that they encounter, it could make sense. They have to learn to follow nectar guides, that differ between flower species. They also must learn nectar robbing techniques to deal with flowers whose shapes do not suit their mouthparts. (See eg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nectar_robbing).

I cannot immediately offer any conclusions nor even coherent suspicions on this, but it could be a fertile field for research; many animals with brains that seem too simple for significant intelligence show surprisingly sophisticated capacities for flexible behaviour.

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