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Bees Speak Foreign Languages

We know that bees do a quantum dance, and it turns out that they also speak (or at least dance) foreign languages! And most people think before making decisions. As it turns out, so do bees.

Scientists wanted to find out if Asian and European honeybees living in the same hive could translate each other?s dances and discovered that the duration of the dances varies between species, even if bees are trying to communicate the same information. In LiveScience.com, Andrea Thompson quotes researcher Shaowu Zhang as saying, "It's these differences which we can think of as distinct languages."

It turns out they can understand each other. Bees from different species do not normally live in the same hive, but scientists are not sure what will happen in the future, as Africanized honeybees continue moving into this country and mysterious hive deaths are still occurring.

Israeli researchers have discovered that when making decisions, people and bees are both more likely to gamble on risky courses of action?rather than taking a safer option?when the differences between the various possible outcomes are easily distinguishable. When the outcomes are difficult to discern, however, both groups are far more likely to select the safer option?even if the actual probabilities of success have not changed (come to think of it, this reflects Israeli politics as well!) Researcher Ido Erev says, "The similar responses by humans and bees demonstrates that this decision-making process happens very early in evolution. The results suggest that this is a very basic phenomenon shared by many different animals."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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