How Smart Are Honey Bees?

Despite their small brain size (about 1 cubic millimeter), honey bees are rather smart. They're able to recognize and remember colors and keep track of up to four different landmarks. Australian researchers, in particular, have successfully taught honey bees to recognize colors. The bees are shown a color which is used to indicate a particular path through a maze, which the bees are then able to navigate recognizing that color. They can even recall that color later, and use it as a guide even when they are not shown it at the beginning of a maze.

More about honey bees:

  • The grey matter — the grey tissue that forms the cerebral cortex — in the honey bee's brain is about 10 times denser than that of a mammal.

  • Honey bees communicate seemingly complex information about locations and threats to each other through a waggle dance — a form of communication by way of movement in the shape of a figure eight.

  • Honey bees even remember locations of smell. They can return to a place that smelled a certain way if that same odor is introduced to their hive.

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