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Bumblebee learns how to pull a string for a treat

Bumblebee learns how to pull a string for a treat

(1:10) A study at Queen Mary University, UK, has found that even relatively simple animals like bumblebees can teach other how to perform relatively complex tasks such as pulling a string to access sugar water.

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CANCEL
Guest: (415 days ago)
Latest comment:

PS - what evolutionary pressure would result in bees being good at problem solving and teaching each other? How would this trait have developed?

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Original comment
Latest comment:

PS - what evolutionary pressure would result in bees being good at problem solving and teaching each other? How would this trait have developed?

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CANCEL
Guest: (415 days ago)

Looks to me more like the bee is trying to walk towards the syrup (which I guess it can smell) and the string pulling is an incidental effect of this. Teaching other bees could be no more than identifying the blue disc as a good source of food which would result in more bees doing the same.

In short I don't think this demonstrates what is claimed. At most it demonstrates that bees can communicate about which flowers are worth visiting. How much sugar syrup was in the disc, compared to the amount of nectar in a flower? If it was more then the bees would value it highly.

ReplyVote up (96)down (101)
Original comment

Looks to me more like the bee is trying to walk towards the syrup (which I guess it can smell) and the string pulling is an incidental effect of this. Teaching other bees could be no more than identifying the blue disc as a good source of food which would result in more bees doing the same.

In short I don't think this demonstrates what is claimed. At most it demonstrates that bees can communicate about which flowers are worth visiting. How much sugar syrup was in the disc, compared to the amount of nectar in a flower? If it was more then the bees would value it highly.

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CANCEL
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