Australian biologists have taught bees to distinguish between even and odd numbers
Bees are already considered one of the most intelligent insects, but a new study has shown that their mental abilities are even higher. Australian scientists have taught bees to solve simple problems, the level of primary school.
Biologists divided the bees into two groups. One group was trained to associate odd numbers with sweetened water and even numbers with bitter water. In the second group it was the opposite. The bees were shown cards with numbers from 1 to 10 written on them until they showed correct answers with an accuracy of 80 percent. The scientists noticed that the bees learned at different rates. Moreover, those bees whose task was to correlate sweet water with odd numbers learned faster. In humans, the opposite happens.
The researchers then conducted an experiment where the insects had to assign the numbers 11 and 12 to even or odd digits. 70 percent of the bees gave the correct answer.
“Our results showed that the bee brain, which contains 89,000 times fewer neurons than a human, is capable of solving a complex abstract problem,” the study authors concluded.
It was believed that the ability to distinguish between even and odd numbers was given only to people. However, the experiment showed that bees are capable of performing simple arithmetic and matching numbers with symbols.