Oct 28, 2022

Bumble bees like to ‘play’: new video study shows them moving balls for fun

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

So even insects like to play and have fun.

Bumble bees enjoy playing with balls, suggesting insect minds are far more sophisticated than previously thought, researchers have found.

It is the first study to prove that the insects like to play with toys, even when there is no apparent benefit to their actions.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London found that bees spontaneously chose to ignore food to roll wooden balls, with younger bees opting to roll more balls than older bees.

It suggests that younger bees are more playful, just like human children.

Doctoral student Samadi Galpayage of Queen Mary said: It is certainly mind-blowing, at times amusing, to watch bumble bees show something like play. They approach and manipulate these ‘toys’ again and again.

It goes to show, once more, that despite their little size and tiny brains, they are more than small robotic beings.

She added: They may actually experience some kind of positive emotional states, even if rudimentary.

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