What a bee knows

We think of bees as automatons that have intelligence and adaptive flexibility only as a hive. But individual bees also have rich lives. Bees can learn and remember and communicate about where the flowers are (what can be more important?) and who are friends and who are enemies.

Most bee species are not eusocial — that is, they do not live in hives but fend for themselves, retiring each night to underground burrows.

Bees can recognize individual human faces and can perceive patterns of polarization in the sky that are invisible to humans.

Most of the plants in the world, including almost almost all the ones that humans dependent on for food, rely on bees for pollination. Bee populations generally are in decline. We won’t know how much danger they are in until it’s too late to do anything.

Article by Stephen Buchmann

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