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Tag: Bees

Bees get better at math when they’re punished for mistakes

Bees get better at math when they’re punished for mistakes

Science
Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Bees can count and understand the concept of zero. But their math skills have limits. Previously, scientists thought bees could only count to four, but new research suggests bees can understand quantities as great as five, provided they're trained with rewards and punishments. Tests suggest fish are also thwarted by arithmetic thresholds. But it's not just small-brained animals. Human brains are similarly limited. Estimating quantities up to four is effortless for most people, but estimating larger quantities takes more concentration. Until now, scientists thought bees were incapable of the focus necessary to comprehend larger numbers. However, the latest research showed that when bees are properly trained, they can process quantities as large as five. For the study, sc...
Worker bees forgo sleep to care for young

Worker bees forgo sleep to care for young

Science
Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Most parents know that sacrificing sleep is part of raising a young child. The same goes for bees. New research suggests brood-tending bumble bee workers sleep much less than other bees, even forgoing sleep to care for offspring that is not their own. But unlike other animals, bees seem to do just fine without the normal amount of sleep. Most studies of sleep behavior have focused on humans and other model organisms in the lab, but the latest research -- published this week in the journal Current Biology -- suggests their is value in studying sleep in diverse species. "Our findings show that sleep is more plastic and less rigid than is commonly accepted," study co-author Guy Bloch of Hebrew University said in a news release. Tests show that when humans, rodents and flies...
Insecticides that threaten bees also harm damselflies, study finds

Insecticides that threaten bees also harm damselflies, study finds

Science
July 5 (UPI) -- New research suggests damselflies are being harmed by thiacloprid, a common neonicotinoid insecticide used by farmers to kill aphids and whiteflies. When researchers first began testing the efficacy and safety of neonicotinoids, insecticides synthetically derived from nicotine, they determined the chemicals only harmed insects that actually ate the sprayed crops. Thus, only the targeted pests would be killed. But over the last decade, dozens have studies have shown this assumption to be false and identified neonicotinoid exposure as the primary driver of colony collapse disorder and the decline of honey bees all over the world. The latest study, published this week in the Journal of Applied Ecology, suggests other bystanders are also being negatively affected, including d...
Bees: Many British pollinating insects in decline, study shows

Bees: Many British pollinating insects in decline, study shows

Science
A third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline, according to a new study.If current trends continue, some species will be lost from Britain altogether, the scientists say.The study found "winners" and "losers" among hundreds of wild bees and hoverflies, which pollinate food crops and other plants.Common species are winning out at the expense of rarer ones, with an overall picture of biodiversity being lost.Scientists warn that the loss of nature could create problems in years to come, including the ability to grow food crops. World's biggest bee found alive Five key things about the extinction crisis ...
Robots help bees and fish communicate

Robots help bees and fish communicate

Science
March 21 (UPI) -- Bees and fish can now converse with each other thanks to new robotics technology designed by researchers in Europe. Scientists developed robots to translate and deliver signals from groups of bees and schools of fish. The robots traded signals across an international border, allowing bees in Austria to talk to fish a few hundred miles away in Switzerland. "We created an unprecedented bridge between the two animal communities, enabling them to exchange some of their dynamics," Frank Bonnet, a robotics engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, or EPFL, said in a news release. Previously, researchers at EPFL's Mobile Robots Group have designed and deployed "spy" robots that blend in with groups of animals. Most recently, the team used a robot to in...