What scientists have found

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Drone Bee
Nov 14, 2008
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Warboys, CAMBS
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nil bees given away all colonies
I have just come across another word to be used in conjunction with the already growing specialised words we have within the beekeeping world.

It?s ; subitizing

This means responding rapidly to a small number of items.

What has that got to do with beekeeping you may well ask?

It?s the name given to a series of tests to establish that the Honey bee can tell the difference between different numbers at a glance.

From the Paper.

In an exquisitely designed experiment researchers have shown the bees can discriminate between patterns containing two and three dots ? without having to count the dots.
However at four five and six dots their maths seems to have run out.

The scientists claim that the bees use two memory systems. First is the working memory to remember dots that lead to a reward. The second system is to use memory rules. The distances the bees would fly to locate a reward was 11 Km.
Finally they sum up with, ? tantalising question is whether bees can actually perform elementary mathematics ?.

I can not write my immediate thoughts on this experiment as swearing is not permitted. But for goodness sake would not this research money be put to better use than to find out if bees can count.
The experiment was carried out in Australia ( I understand that Fosters is a strong larger).

I thought you might like to know what the bee scientists are getting up to.