The spooky intelligence of bees

1 04 2017

A very cool new(-ish) paper in Science is written up here. This work was clearly inspired by “bee-whisperer” Guelph student Hamida Merwan, whose committee I sat on (in fact I was the reason she started looking into operant behaviour in the first place). Hamida found they could do amazing things, including apparently teaching each other how to perform novel tasks (socially transmitting information in the nest, without any visual cues). But sadly she worked very much in isolation, and her stats were too shaky for her work to end up anywhere sexy.

Still, enough mild self-pity: it’s just great that someone now did this properly and convincingly. Next question: should bees get the same legislative protection as Octopus vulgaris then? It’s very, very hard to see why not…

Screenshot 2017-04-01 15.17.36


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