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14 Things That Prove Bees Are Actually Superheroes

KAPOW.

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1. They can sense the electric fields of flowers.

Dominic Clarke / Via sciencemag.org

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?!

3. They can sniff out landmines.

MikeLane45/MikeLane45

Researchers in Croatia trained a team of honey bees to sniff out landmines by making them associate the smell of TNT with sugar (poor bees). Their super sniffing power means they can detect odours from up to 4.5km away.

4. And they've been known to work as "biodetectives", keeping tabs on pollution at German airports.

Olha_Afanasieva/Olha_Afanasieva

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.

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5. They could FLY OVER MOUNT EVEREST if they wanted to.

Rdevany / Via en.wikipedia.org

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.

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9. Their brains work faster than a computer on some maths problems.

heckepics/heckepics

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.

indigolotos/indigolotos

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.