While we all know bees for their role as pollinators in our food chain, the sophisticated insects also have a variety of other skills, such as arithmetic, facial recognition, and even tool usage. A pair of bees seems to remove the orange cover of a Fanta to get the sweet nectar within, according to a new video shared on Twitter. In today’s world of digital deception, we must keep in mind that this may be cunning CGI; alternatively, the bees may have worked together, but just overturned a loosely hung bottle cap.
In any case, it’s entertaining to speculate about whether bees would have the foresight to pull off such a beverage robbery.
The event was captured in So Paulo, Brazil, by a worker on their lunch break, according to ViralHog, the video licensor that obtained the film.
“I bought a Coke from a customer, but the bees quickly took it,” the individual captioned the video. Many people on the internet have been perplexed by the smooth dexterity with which these two bees seem to pull the cap off a Coke bottle, with some asking how such intelligence can exist in such a little brain.
Many people on the internet have been perplexed by the smooth dexterity with which these two bees seem to pull the cap off a Coke bottle, with some asking how such intelligence can exist in such a little brain. However, as we’ve learned in recent years, the size of an animal’s head isn’t everything. For one thing, little creatures have significantly less body mass to regulate, thus their brains will naturally be smaller. Furthermore, the intricacy of neuronal connections may be more significant for cognitive ability.
Karl von Frisch considered bumblebees too small-brained to reason in 1962, a decade before receiving the Nobel Prize for studies on bee communication, putting their brilliant nature down to hardwired instinct. The subject of how much a bee’s brain can handle has been examined many times since then. Bees have been shown to be astonishingly brilliant in recent studies, despite having a brain the size of a grass seed, or around 0.0002 percent the size of our own. These insects can not only learn from one another and utilize tools, but they can also count to zero and solve simple mathematical problems.
How might a small seed-sized calculator apply its problem-solving abilities to a task as difficult as removing a cap off a Coke bottle?
Von Frisch’s preference for bigger brains is clearly still present today. While the biologist acknowledged that bees could do “amazing cerebral feats,” he stated that they did it only by instinct, failing “when abruptly confronted with unexpected challenges.”
Von Frisch would be doubtful since unscrewing the cap of a sweet drink isn’t exactly a chore bees evolved to do in nature. It’s likely that the bees just got fortunate this time, seeing a tasty treat and following it blindly against some opposition.
Nature, on the other hand, has the potential to surprise us. A single neuron cell in the packed bee brain, for example, may communicate with up to 100,000 other cells. Bumblebees were recently taught to roll a ball into a goal in exchange for a reward. The insects had to imitate one other’s actions and learn from their failures in order to score, which they did with astonishing ease.
“At one point, such ‘tool usage’ was assigned just to humans, but subsequently to primates, followed by marine animals, and finally to birds,” researchers stated in 2017.
“We now know that many animals have the ability to imagine how a specific thing may be utilized to attain a goal.”
Bees may be capable of considerably more than we previously imagined, despite their modest network of neurons. You may want to keep an eye on your drink the next time you treat yourself to an alfresco meal.