[ExI] Honey bees can do math

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sun Feb 10 18:12:38 UTC 2019

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of
Stuart LaForge
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:28 AM
To: ExI Chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: [ExI] Honey bees can do math

>...This one is for you, Spike, since you like both bees and math. Now they
are together for the first time, like peanut butter and chocolate. ;-)

>...As if bees weren't amazing enough already, it turns out that they can do
math with their tiny little brains and even understand the concept of zero.


"When a bee flew into the entrance of the maze they would see a set of
elements, between 1 to 5 shapes. The shapes were either blue, which meant
the bee had to add, or yellow, which meant the bee had to subtract.



Stuart LaForge


Thanks for that Stuart.  I don't know how the hell bees do the things they
do.  There are aspects to collective intelligence vs individual intelligence
that has defied explanation.

Here's a fun one for you.  Young scientists and amateur experimenters have a
difficult time working with any living beast.  To control experiments one
must contain them somehow and feed them, both of which present a problem for
amateurs and young students.  But bees are really easy to work with.  You
don't really need to contain them (and can't very practically.)  Feeding
them is easy.  Creating the instruments to determine how the bees are
performing is easy with Arduinos and Raspberry Pi and such.  So now we have
armies of amateur scientists doing Science Fair projects like this one.


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