News & Events
Scientists have conducted a unique experiment with bumblebees
- May 3, 2020
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
It is no secret that thanks to our large brains, we humans can store and use a really large amount of information, as well as easily recall it in our minds when we need it, using various feelings. Such use of sensory science is called multi-sensory identification in science and allows us to evaluate certain objects or information coming from them as something integral. However, wondering if some insects can repeat the same sensory experience as people, a combined team of specialists from Queen Mary University and McGuire University undertook a new and interesting experiment.
The experiment was based not only on this question, but also on what sensory criteria different insects can navigate in unusual circumstances. To verify this, experts selected several bumblebees and placed them in a special section, where two geometric figures were located on two saucers, some of which had water sweetened with sugar on top and the other part with bitter quinic acid.
Thus, circling these figures and tasting both substances alternately, the bumblebees were then asked to repeat the experiment, but in complete darkness. It turned out that absolutely all bumblebees and in the dark, relying on their tactile and taste sensory at the same time, preferred to sit on those geometric shapes that they remembered earlier – thus directly proving that they could use integral sensory information and sensorics to determine the most preferred object, taking into account the past visual experience of their perception.
So, not only people have such a laudable ability to capture certain objects at once by several senses – and if earlier it seemed that insects, and in particular bumblebees, could do this in several separate channels, now a new study puts a decisive end and suggests look at the insect sensory from a completely different angle.