12th December 2005 - 05:38 PM
I do not doubt it. I used to be a beekeeper and plan to do so again. I think they are the apex of insect evolution and have always admired them. Each hive has it's own "mind". They recognize the beekeeper, no doubt. Many may have heard when the beekeeper dies, the bees swarm around his house. True. There is more "mind" in this world than people acknowledge. All intelligence is not human.
12th December 2005 - 09:32 PM
i think the researchers are on dodgy ground here.
as mike tarr (famous neuroscientist who does excellent work on human face recognition) put it (and i paraphrase him here) 'they could have done the study with potatoes and got the same result'.
as an example of bees being able to recognise complex visual patterns it may be compelling (although this wouldn't be a novel effect - wasps, for example, have been shown to be sensitive to facial patterns in other wasps) - but i think it's a little misleading to characterise it as evidence that bees have similar face recognition abilities to humans.
the comment on the inversion effect is misleading also i think - human face recognition suffers in terms of response times when the faces are inverted, but they can still do it. this also suggests that the bees are using simple pattern recognition (that as mike tarr notes will probably generalize to many other classes of stimuli) rather than 'face recognition' skills.
13th December 2005 - 10:39 PM
does it really matter HOW you know something? if you know it and are correct, how you got there is really not important. let's face it. a bee has not a large brain.
bees are not stupid. therefore, how much brain does it take to have awareness? thought? recognition of duty (your job)? not much. there sure are a lot of folks crowing without much to crow about. if you never learn to use you mind, it is still only so much meat. it can be good eating, but other than that, it is a terrible waste.
would that we could achieve so much as the bees with so little to work with!