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Elementary Science Education


Bumble Bee Intelligence


It has generally been thought that insects act entirely by instinct. The power of thinking, it was thought, is a trait of higher animals alone. A recent article in Science upsets this idea. Bumble bees were presented with a problem: Nectar was placed in an artificial flower behind a plastic cover. The “flower” could be pulled from behind the cover by means of an attached string, but could bees figure this out? The testing showed that some bumble bees were able to do so. Watch the attached video,

Furthermore, bees that were not able to figure it out on their own, readily learned from the bees that did. Your comments are welcome: email me at


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