Research at recess

A gaggle of British primary school children has published important findings on bee behavior

Richard P. Grant
Jan 27, 2011
For millennia, naturalists and thinkers across the globe have peered into beehives and wondered: What the hell are those things doing in there? Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, and after him Roman poet Virgil, both wrote extensively of their fascination with the lives and habits of bees. These days, with mysterious illnesses wiping out entire hives and jeopardizing the viability of some commercial crops, serious research projects probe honeybee pathogens and behavior. And now, to centuries of cataloged knowledge of bee behavior and biology, a group of British schoolchildren have added their insights in a linkurl:paper;http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2010.1056 published in a recent issue of the Royal Society's __Biology Letters__.
Image: Alvesgaspar via Wikimedia commons
Twenty five 8-10-year-olds, under the guidance of University College London neuroscientist Beau Lotto, found that bees can learn complex rules to solve puzzles, and that individual bees have personal preferences, suggesting the insects may possess some form of...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?