Scientists in London train bumblebees to 'score' goals by moving a mini ball to a target; demonstrating unprecedented learning abilities. Matthew Stock reports.
This bumblebee is being taught to play soccer. Researchers first show the bee where the ball should go. The insect then copies this technique to receive a reward; taking the sting out of the ball and moving it to a target, effectively scoring a goal. Subsequent training included one bee teaching another how to move the ball to the target. The study, published in the journal Science, suggests small brains don't necessarily limit an insect's ability to adapt and learn. The scientists say the study shows some insects could learn entirely new behaviours if there's sufficient ecological pressure. For now they're satisfied with the buzz of seeing these bees get on the scoresheet.