Honeybees solve math puzzles

Chennai: A research by a team of scientists at University of Sheffield has presented a new, alternative blueprint for assessing numerical cognition in animals.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the results reveal that the honeybee brain has evolved to be able to distinguish between numerical values using visual cues rather than the complex cognitive processing of numbers.

As per the study by researchers in the University’s Department of Computer Science and their international collaborators, honeybees were found to be using continuous, non-numerical cues to solve a maths problem.

The insight into how honeybees solve numerical problems could be used to design more sophisticated machines based on the brains of animals, which have evolved to find the simplest, most efficient way to carry out certain tasks.