Bees Have Personalities?
Recent research says bees could have their own personalities. Entomologists at the University of Illinois tested bees and determined some had a stronger desire to seek adventure.
Two bee behaviors they observed were consistent with a definition of novelty-seeking: scouting for new nest sites and for food. About five percent of the hive are nest scout bees and differences in novelty-seeking have been associated with personality traits in humans. These scout bees are also much more likely to become food scouts.
“There is a gold standard for personality research and that is if you show the same tendency in different contexts, then that can be called a personality trait,” said entomology professor Gene Robinson. (Source: Red Orbit)
Researchers set up new feeding posts with unique colors and smells, one by one, over several days. Then they tracked which bees liked to test new chomping grounds and which ones stuck with what they already knew. The results were made more clear when researchers studied the bees brains. They found a very large number of differences in the brain genes of the scouting and non-scouting bees.
In 2011, another bee study found they have what could be interpreted as emotion. Some humans find these kinds of studies distressing, because of their belief only humans have emotion and personality traits and they are what makes the human species special. If it turn out humans are not the only species with these characteristics, it makes treating non-humans destructively much less easy to justify.
Image Credit: Robert DeMeo