1. They can sense the electric fields of flowers.
Electroreception helps bees figure out which flowers have already been raided for their nectar, so they can target the ones that have plenty left. Oh and did you also know flowers have electric fields?!
4. And they’ve been known to work as “biodetectives”, keeping tabs on pollution at German airports.
Honey made from bees that patroll Düsseldorf International Airport, as well as 7 others, is used to test for things like hydrocarbons and heavy metals in the air.
5. They could FLY OVER MOUNT EVEREST if they wanted to.
In a paper in Biology Letters, scientists worked out that alpine honey bees can sustain hovering flight at elevations in excess of 9000m – higher than Mount Everest. That’s above and beyond what they need to do for standard foraging, raising questions about why exactly they can do it.
8. Magnets are their kryptonite.
By attaching small pieces of steel to bees and waving magnets over them three times a minute, scientists wanting to study the effects of sleep deprivation on bees were able to keep them awake all night. Not getting enough kip prevented the bees from properly doing their “waggle dance” to show other bees where the best flowers were. :(
9. Their brains work faster than a computer on some maths problems.
When bumblebees encounter a number of flowers they appear to solve the “Travelling Salesman Problem” for that specific set of circumstances, working out the quickest route between all the different flowers.
10. Honeybees can recognise and distinguish between human faces.
Scientists trained bees to pick out a photo of a particular face by giving them a sucrose reward. Once the reward was taken away they still got it right nearly 90% of the time – even though they only have 0.01% of the neurons that humans do.