Nature/Bees: Bees in Science Research (and How to Get Involved)

bumblebeesDid you know that bumblebees have the ability to control objects and they can further pass on this knowledge to their fellow bees? In one scientific study, Lars Chittka from the Queen Mary University in London, together with his research partners, handed a group of bumblebees with a plastic disc filled sweetened water that was placed under a clear Plexiglas sheet. For the bumblebees to gain access to the disc, they had to pull on a string. From the group of about 300 bumblebees, only two managed to work out the schematics on their own. The rest needed some level of training after which 80% of bees were consequently able to access the disc.

When the remaining 20% of untrained bees watched how their trained counterparts accessed the sweetened water, they were able to learn the ropes. Mating the untrained bumblebee colonies with only one trained bumblebee on accessing the sweetened water and then combining individuals from this colony with the disc experiment resulted in about 50% of the bees picking up on the trick by themselves. Students taking bachelor’s in agriculture can learn more research conducted on bees.

How to Get Involved

It’s no doubt that bees are super intelligent and they play a very important role in our earth’s agriculture and eco system. Sadly, they are dying at a shocking rate. Researchers believe that their disappearance can be attributed to the harsh pesticides used by farmers. People can get involved by supporting organic farming and also spreading awareness about the effects of pesticides.

While change will not happen overnight, a little goes a long way and if everyone can decrease the amount of pesticides used and eventually stop using them completely, then the world will be a better place with healthy and active bees. Imagine a world with no natural honey? And no fruits? No one wants to miss out on the amazing health benefits that come from natural honey and beeswax. So, let’s get involved!