Science Says Honeybees Can Do Math and Our Minds Are Blown
So can our dogs file our taxes, too?
Amateur bee keeper? Backyard honeybee enthusiast? Just a Queen Bee yourself?
Well, here's a new factoid to add to your hive of knowledge: Honeybees can do math.
Yes, you read that right. According to a new study published in the journal Science Advances the tiny insects are capable of doing basic math. In the snazzily titled research "Numerical cognition in honeybees enables addition and subtraction," scientists share that their study revealed "that honeybees, with a miniature brain, can learn to use blue and yellow as symbolic representations for addition or subtraction." It's worth noting that the study only used 14 honeybees.
The abstract continues, stating, "In a free-flying environment, individual bees used this information to solve unfamiliar problems involving adding or subtracting one element from a group of elements. This display of numerosity requires bees to acquire long-term rules and use short-term working memory." Overall, scientists believe the results may indicate that "advanced numerical cognition" may be more understood by animals than we once thought.
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Indeed, these recent findings are a fascinating look at just one more way the animal kingdom may posess more knowledge than we think. Now that science has gotten bees to count, if only we could get our dogs to file our taxes.