Honeybees Are Actually Mathematicians

Samuel Reason | February 9th, 2019

Honeybees are one of the small numbers of animals that can count and have an understanding of what zero means. They understand the concept of nothing, much like humans or dolphins can. In fact, these little insects are able to grasp that “nothing” is the opposite of “something” and they also know that the number zero is on the low end of the numerical sphere.

amp.businessinsider.com

A study published in the journal Science researched that honey bees could count up to four objects and understood the notion of zero. Not exactly mathematicians but way more advanced than most animals. It is actually the first research of its kind that shows insects can deal with abstracts concepts. To understand if bumblebees and honeybees could understand the concept of nothingness, scientist lured free-flying bees to a screen that had white cards on them.

Each card featured two to five different types of dark shapes. The researchers awarded some honey bees with sweet nectar for flying onto a card with a few items and some with a card that featured many items. After a couple of days of training, the researchers also introduced cards that had no items on them at all.

And the bees were able to consistently recognize the cards that had no shapes or objects on them at all. In fact, they were able to make them out even better when the blank cards were shown alongside cards with four or five items.

This means that the honeybees knew and understood which cards had fewer items on and which ones had more on. And understanding that this sort of numerical scale is very important to understand the concept of zero. One thing that remains unclear to the scientists is if they understand this from birth or if they learn it through training with other bees. It is definitely something that can give them an advantage when navigating the wild & recognizing different types of flowers.

Next Article
  • Human Saliva Contains A Compound More Powerful Than Morphine

    In need for some natural painkillers or just having a bad day? Well then you may just be able to spit on yourself, yes that is right human saliva contains a natural ingredient that is more powerful than morphine. In fact, the substance that scientists have found recently is actually six times more potent than...

    Read More
  • Man Survives Without Eating For Over A Year

    At the most, you can survive without food for a couple of weeks, occasionally a bit longer but for most people starvation will kill you. But the limits on how long people can go without eating are actually very complicated and are more of a case by case basis. Without water, people can only really...

    Read More
  • Ancient Underground City Of Derinkuyu

    If you are looking for your next tourist destination think about checking out the ancient underground city of Derinkuyu in Cappadocia the central Anatolia region of Turkey. A beautiful natural wonder in itself with caverns and caves but it is also a place that has an extensive subterranean city. Secret tunnels and underground dwellings that...

    Read More
  • Most Of Your Mobile Phone Batteries Are Simply Resold

    Less and less cell phone batteries fail during the warranty period now than ever before and this is due to the move to lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion is less temperamental than the nickel-based predecessors and also needs very little preparation to put into phones. However, that being said the return volume for batteries keeps on going...

    Read More
  • These Most Charitable Celebs Have Helped Countless People

    Some celebrities have more power and money us ordinary people can imagine. Even though directors, musicians, and athletes live in luxury with flashy cars, expensive mansions, and wild vacations, some celebs do have a softer side to give something back to those who need it the most. Thankfully, they use their voices and wallets to...

    Read More
  • Most Powerful Men Throughout History

    History is very powerful. We don’t always realize the influence it has on us. Many men have been involved in affecting the way we live today. Men with great minds, men who have done great acts or have created movements of thought. Tracing how their actions affect us can actually feel liberating and help us...

    Read More
  • Blue Streetlights Reduce Crime And Suicides

    In an interesting development, it is thought that blue streetlights are helping reducing crime and suicides in Japan and Scotland. In Tokyo, an increasing amount of railway companies have decided to install blue streetlights and blue light emitting apparatus at stations as it is becoming evident that the blue lights to help prevent people committing...

    Read More
  • Rare Whale Puke Ends Up In Perfume

    Known as ambergris, you may be forgiven for thinking it is a rare flower or natural element that smells beautiful - especially when you learn it is sought out heavily by perfumeries. In fact, reading any bottle of perfume you may see ambergris listed on the ingredients. It is used as a binding agent in...

    Read More