Thursday, February 14, 2019

Shut up and dance

In Science Advances today, some unexpected (to me) findings about the honeybee waggle dance:

"Strikingly, colonies with disoriented dances had greater foraging success. Over time, bees exposed to disoriented dances showed reduced interest in dancing nestmates. This may explain why disoriented colonies had a higher foraging rate than oriented colonies, as bees did not waste time waiting for information."

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Bee accountants

Today in Science Advances, "Numerical cognition in honeybees enables addition and subtraction".

From the abstract: "... We show that honeybees, with a miniature brain, can learn to use blue and yellow as symbolic representations for addition or subtraction. 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.  ..."