Bees can count to four

Previously, we thought they were sahing “bzzzzzz..zzzzz bzzzzzzzz” and stuff like that….

Researchers in Australia have discovered that honey bees have the ability to count — at least to the number four.

A scientist from the University of Queensland put five markers inside a tunnel and placed nectar in one of them, Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio reported.

Honey bees placed in the tunnel flew to the marker with the food, and would still fly to the same marker stripe when the food was removed.


I have only this to say about the intelligence of bees.


  1. #1 Bee
    October 28, 2008

    Tsk! Scientists! You could have just asked – I can certainly count to four… five, if I have to.

  2. #2 Felicia Gilljam
    October 28, 2008

    …but… that’s not counting. That’s just remembering where objects are in relation to other objects. Which bees would obviously need to be able to do or they wouldn’t be able to find their hives after being out on a foraging trip. That the bees lost count after four might be because the stripes were (presumably) all the same – if they were different shapes, colours and placed at different intervals, I suspect the result would’ve been different.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    October 28, 2008

    (Felicia … give them a break. They’re just bees.)