Bumblebees can learn and then teach despite tiny brains

October 6, 2016

From: Washington Post

British scientists train bees to pull a string to get food, observe them passing on the skill.

This bumblebee looks for food on a flower. Scientists in Britain trained bumblebees to pull strings to get food from an artificial flower. Those bees were able to pass on the skill to others in their colony. (Shaun Curry/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Scientists in Britain have managed to teach bumblebees to pull strings to get to food and then pass on what they have learned to others in their colony — showing a high level of intelligence despite their tiny brains.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London said the experiments, often used to test the intelligence of apes and birds, showed for the first time that some insects are up to the task, and can also pass skills on through several generations.

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