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Home Industry News New bee research sheds light on neurological functions

New bee research sheds light on neurological functions

26th October 2010

A recent study into the problem-solving ability of bees could provide an insight into the function of neurological systems and animal intelligence.

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London and Royal Holloway, University of London have discovered that bumblebees are able to find the shortest distance to fly between flowers, even if they are discovered in a random order.

The ability to do so is analogous to the Travelling Salesman Problem, a complex mathematical puzzle which can take computers days to solve.

Bees are able to accomplish this advanced task despite having brains the size of grass seeds, challenging the traditional idea of neuron numbers limiting cognitive function.

The study's co-author and Queen Mary colleague Dr Mathieu Lihoreau said: "There is an urgent need to understand the neuronal hardware underpinning animal intelligence and relatively simple nervous systems such as those of insects make this mystery more tractable."

Earlier this year, research was conducted at the University of Exeter using artificial intelligence to understand bee behaviour and their ability to cross-pollinate between genetically-modified and natural crops.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800157997-ADNFCR

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