Researchers have designed a test that proves bees can do basic math.
Since scientists have known that bees understand the concept of zero, they wanted to determine if bees could perform the basic math functions of adding and subtracting. Their tests have shown that bees can do this.
This is very important because solving math problems requires the use of both long- and short-term memory and the complex mental management of numbers.
The team from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia taught the bees to recognize colors that represent addition and subtraction. Once the bees were taught the meaning of the colors, they were able to use the colors to solve math addition and subtraction problems. While this level of math may seem simple to us, it really involves complex thought processes.
In past studies, beekeepers claimed that they did not get stung by their bees (at least not too much) because the bees understood that they meant no harm and were friendly to the keepers. If bees can perform mathematical functions it is certainly reasonable that they could understand their relationship to bee keepers.
What is amazing is that the tiny bee brain can do this. As we discover more ways to communicate with animals and insects, it will open a whole new world and understanding of our animal and insect friends.
The only barrier we have to fully understanding other creatures is the barrier of language. How amazing this finding is because it shows us how much we have yet to learn.