Amazing Sense of Smell

I was taking some pictures of our beeswax products, and this honey bee flew over to investigate. I am continually amazed by a bee's senses. Whenever we are washing empty honey barrels outside of our facility, dozens of honey bees will show up in a matter of minutes. Think about it -- with a brain the size of a grass seed, foraging honey bees can zero in on nectar, honey and beeswax in a flash. Recent research shows that honeybees can detect specific airborne molecules in the parts per trillion range.

Dr. John Lieff published a fascinating piece about honeybee brains on his blog "Searching for the Mind" in November 2012.  Here are some highlights from Dr. Lieff's article:

  • bees use abstract thought and symbolic language
  • bees routinely solve the advanced mathematical problem of the travelling salesman
  • bees mix medication in the hive and know when a fungus is dangerous
  • bees distinguish landscape scenes, types of flowers, shapes and patterns
  • bees forage for information
  • bees learn categories, sequences, combinations and the changes of future rewards

For the complete article, please go to:

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