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

Related Links

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94 comments

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se2 years ago

What have LIFE have personalities................

Elise Swansborough

What a great little news nugget. Dear bees.

Tanya W.
Tanya W.3 years ago

Love bees thanks.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Thanks for posting!

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson3 years ago

Of course they have personalities. Geez wake up and stop testing on animals. Isaac Bashevis Singer Nobel Peace Prize Winner wrote in his book, 'Enemies a love story', "As often has Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought. In their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazi’s. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplify the most extreme racist theories the principle that might is right. Lest we forget!

federico bortoletto

Grazie per tutte le informazioni.

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson4 years ago

Very interesting, I tend to think all animals and even plants have versions or aspects of feelings. Thanks for posting.

Carrie Anne Brown

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

not surprising, I think all animals have their own personality. Why are we so surprised when we find out others are like us?

Kiana S.
Kiana S.4 years ago

Interesting! Does that mean that there isn't as much to the whole, "hive mind" thing as I always thought? I just assumed that bees had their pre-assigned jobs that they were genetically programmed to do and that was that. Or is this a new type of worker bee whose job is to go exploring? I guess my question is do bees have free will or do they just follow orders? Insects are so different from mammals! Bees are very cool though :)