The Mind of a Bee
by Lars Chittka | University of London
Abstract ID: 164
Event: The 3rd AsiaEvo Conference
Topic: The evolution of invertebrate sensory ecology and behaviours
Presenter Name: Lars Chittka

Most of us are aware of the hive mind—the power of bees as an amazing collective. But do we know how uniquely intelligent bees are as individuals?  I argue that they have remarkable navigational abilities, can recognize not just flowers but also human faces, exhibit basic emotions, count, use simple tools, solve problems, and learn by observing others. They may even possess consciousness. I illustrate how bee brains are unparalleled in the animal kingdom in terms of how much computing power is packed into their tiny nervous systems. I examine the psychological differences between individual bees and the ethical dilemmas that arise in conservation and laboratory settings because bees might feel and think.