Bees Show Un-Bee-Lievable Learning Ability

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Source: YouTube

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The ability to manipulate objects with a specific goal in mind was at one time ascribed only to humans, but not for long. Later, primates were included. Next, marine mammals. Then birds. Now we recognize that many species have this trait, and the newest ‘gang’ to join the list is Bumblebees. Researchers Olli J. Loukola, Clint J. Perry, Louie Coscos, and Lars Chittka published a scientific paper in the beginning of 2017, called ‘Bumblebees show cognitive flexibility by improving on an observed complex behavior’ and concluded that “instead of copying demonstrators moving balls over long distances, observers solved the task more efficiently, using the ball positioned closest to the target, even if it was of a different color than the one previously observed.” This suggests that entirely new behaviors could emerge relatively fast in species whose lifestyle demands learning if ecological pressures dictate so. Looks like bees aren’t going extinct anytime soon!


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