Study suggests bumblebees play | CTV News


A primary-of-its-kind examine suggests that bumblebees play with objects only for enjoyable, as people or canine do.

According to peer-reviewed analysis carried out by a crew at Queen Mary University of London and printed within the journal Animal Behaviour, bumblebees appeared to spend time taking part in with wood balls for enjoyment.

Researchers wrote within the paper, “We found that ball rolling did not contribute to immediate survival strategies, was intrinsically rewarding, differed from functional behaviour in form, was repeated but not stereotyped, and was initiated under stress-free conditions.”

This led to their perception that what they have been witnessing was animal play.


Researchers initially carried out quite a few experiments involving bumblebees that have been educated to roll balls for a meals reward. In the sooner examine, researchers seen that the bees typically appeared to play with balls for no cause, even when there was no reward current.

They then tried a unique experiment, throughout which researchers noticed that bumblebees have been discovering a number of methods to detour round their meals rewards, stopping to play with the wood balls.

The examine concerned placing 45 bumblebees in an “area” and giving them the choices of travelling straight to a meals space or detouring to achieve wood balls. Many of the bees selected the balls first, seemingly for no cause apart from enjoyable.

The bees selected the balls first, as an alternative of meals, between 1 and 117 occasions.


In one other statement, 42 bumblebees got entry to blue and yellow chambers and one of many colored chambers contained balls inside.

Researchers then eliminated the wood balls, and located that the bees selected the chamber that used to include them, suggesting they could have anticipated to seek out the balls nonetheless inside.

The examine additionally discovered that the youthful bumblebees continued taking part in for extra time than the older ones, and proof urged that bees could really feel constructive whereas taking part in with the article.

When it involves variations between sexes, the examine discovered that male bumblebees rolled the wood balls for an extended length than females.


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