Bee brains

8 Aug

The Economist reports on individual decision making by bees:

“SOCIAL insects are often dismissed as slaves to the collective mind of the hive. But individual members of colonies do have brains and are technically capable of making their own decisions. Indeed, several studies have shown that insects such as ants and bees sometimes ignore shared information in favour of what they individually know. What drives them to act independently has been something of a mystery. New research shows that when a tasty source of food is available the hive mentality is blatantly ignored.”

Wikipedia has a list of animals ranked by number of neurons. According to this list the honey bee has 960,000 neurons while the lobster has only  100,000. Here is an  interesting web site on honeybee brains.

 

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