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Bees also have emotions- says science

Bees also have emotions- says science

SCIENCE 853 0 14 Download
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In Summary

Biologists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) conducted an experiment which revealed that delicious and tasty food helped them to attain a happy mood. 

Editor Posted by Ansheed

Please the taste buds

We all are familiar with this scenario. On a hectic day piled up with work, we might have experienced how cool it is to have something nice and pleasing to taste buds. That’s why after completing something frenetic we often choose to have food from a restaurant. Food is necessary for survival and a great taste would be necessary for inducing a good mood. This outlook made biologists from QMUL to learn the emotion pattern in bees and the result was astonishing.

As a part of the experiment, scientists fed the bumblebees with droplets of sweet sugar water, which turned to induce a good mood in bees. When they are provided with something delicious like humans they also behaved in a positive manner. This experiment would help us understand more about other living creatures as well as throw a point about our intervention into their habitat. The lead author was Dr. Clint J Perry according to whom this study opens a wider perspective to understanding the emotional side of the animal kingdom.

The experimental game      

The researchers trained the bees to collect food from blue flowers whereas to identify green flowers as no food zone. After that, the bees are divided into two groups where one group is fed with sugar droplets whereas others are not. After they were released into the garden with mixed blue and green flowers, they found that those bees who had sugar to satisfying appetite tend to find food in less time than those who don’t. Those who weren’t fed with sugar was more confused and found to be diverting from training, whereas bees who had sugar was calmer and focused with whom the training seemed to be paying off.

This study definitely did point to the fact that bees have intelligence and they have emotions like humans do. That definitely might help the science world understand more about animals and insects, which may change the way humans treat them. In another experiment, bees were subjected to a spider attack. Those bees who had sugar seems to act quickly and forage their course of food collection, whereas others still took a lot of time and damage to get to safety.

Bottom line

The study looks more onto the internal and emotional aspects than simply learning the influence of food on bees. The bees are mere representatives of a whole kingdom, they were easy to study so they happened to be the subject. This study would help us understand the neurochemical signaling, emotional processing, intelligence related aspects of lower living forms. Also, we can now treat them more like an equal being than a lower form thus humans can complete the meaning of word sustainability. 


C. J. Perry, L. Baciadonna, L. Chittka. Unexpected rewards induce dopamine-dependent positive emotion-like state changes in bumblebeesScience, 2016; 353 (6307): 1529 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf4454