Home > Papers from 2011 > Number sense in foraging bees

Number sense in foraging bees

Here, Bar-Shai et al address that conceptually tricky issue of number sense in animals. They examine whether there is any evidence of a sense of number in bees’ exploitation of natural and artificial flower patches. In this paper the major debate seems to be whether a number sense is required to explain the patterns of behaviour over and above a set of fixed preferences and motor strategies. What is beyond doubt is that bees show adaptive behaviour patterns for dealing with flowers, I personally am  not sure whether there is any evidence here that a sense of number is required to explain the data – but check it out for yourself:

Noam Bar-Shai, Tamar Keasar and Avi Shmid (2011) The use of numerical information by bees in foraging tasks. Behavioral Ecology. doi:10.1093/beheco/arq206

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Categories: Papers from 2011
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