Honeybees too have the ability to count!

September 27th, 2008 - 1:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sept 27 (ANI): Honeybees have the ability to count but up to a certain point a new study from the Australian National University in Canberra has revealed.

During the study, the research group including Marie Dacke and Mandyam V. Srinivasan, from Australian National University trained European honeybees to pass a particular number of coloured stripes in a tunnel to get a food reward, which was placed by a stripe.

When they removed the food, the researchers found that the bees still returned to the same stripe, reports Live Science.

For further analysis, they mixed things up on the bees and even changed the spacing of the stripes, and replaced stripes with unfamiliar markers.

The findings revealed that the insects consistently passed the same number of markers to approach the former reward site, demonstrating that they could count, up to four.

Colleagues Songkun Su of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and Shaowu Zhang of the Australian National University in Canberra has created a first mixed-species colonies, made up of European honeybees, Apis mellifera, and Asiatic honeybees, A. cerana.

The two species have their own dialects: foraging in identical environments.

It showed that despite having evolved different forms of communication, the two geographically distant bee species - Asian and European honeybees - could learn to understand one another’’s dance languages. (ANI)

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