One, two, bee?

Nine bee with number nine

Did you know that bees can recognize numbers?  And do basic math?  What?

Yes, it’s true.  It’s been proven that bees not only understand numbers, but they are capable of connecting symbols to numbers.  Researchers have trained honeybees to match a character to a specific quantity, showing that they are able to learn that a symbol represents a numerical amount.

A recent study was conducted at Australia’s RMIT University and found that not only can bees understand zero and simple math, but they can also be trained to match a number of elements to a character.

“Discovering how such complex numerical skills can be grasped by miniature brains will help us understand how mathematical and cultural thinking evolved in humans, and possibly, other animals,” states RMIT Associate Professor Adrien Dyer.

“This suggests that number processing and understanding of symbols happens in different regions in bee brains, similar to the way separate processing happens in the human brain,” says Scarlett Howard, from the Research Centre on Animal Cognition in Toulouse, France.

Click here to learn more about this research.

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