Agriculture
Springing forward
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders
Animals
Killer Flatworms Hunt with Poison
G-Tunes with a Message
Vampire Bats on the Run
Behavior
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
Between a rock and a wet place
Birds
Swifts
Seagulls
Finches
Chemistry and Materials
Sticky Silky Feet
Earth from the inside out
The newest superheavy in town
Computers
Games with a Purpose
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Look into My Eyes
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fingerprinting Fossils
Tiny Pterodactyl
Supersight for a Dino King
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Quick Quake Alerts
Unnatural Disasters
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Environment
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Whale Watch
Finding the Past
Oldest Writing in the New World
Ancient Art on the Rocks
Watching deep-space fireworks
Fish
Lampreys
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Tilapia
Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Chocolate Rules
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Order of Adjectives
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Scholarship
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Setting a Prime Number Record
Human Body
Music in the Brain
A Better Flu Shot
Heavy Sleep
Invertebrates
Snails
Butterflies
Leeches
Mammals
African Hippopotamus
Doberman Pinschers
Primates
Parents
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
IceCube Science
Road Bumps
Plants
Plants Travel Wind Highways
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Reptiles
Turtles
Caimans
Reptiles
Space and Astronomy
A Smashing Display
Mercury's magnetic twisters
Chaos Among the Planets
Technology and Engineering
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Young Scientists Take Flight
A Clean Getaway
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Middle school science adventures
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Arctic Melt
Add your Article

Little Bee Brains That Could

If "birdbrain" is supposed to be an insult, then "bee brain" might be an even crueler thing to say. Bees have tiny brains, after all, so it's easy to believe that they must be dumb. Clever things often come in small packages, however. New research shows that, when it comes to something called "working memory," honeybees rank right up there with bigger-brained animals such as birds and monkeys. Working memory is a type of short-term memory. It's what your brain does between the time you look up a phone number and when you punch the number into the phone. Bees don't use telephones, but scientists can test their working memories in other ways. In one recent study, researchers from the Australian National University in Canberra put honeybees inside a long tunnel that led into an upright pipe. The bees could escape through either side of the pipe, but the two sides of the pipe were each marked with a different pattern, such as stripes slanting to the left or to the right. Only one side was the "right" way to go to reach a feeder with sugar water. Before the bees could get to the pipe, they had to fly through a partition in the tunnel. This partition was marked with a pattern, too, and the bees were supposed to leave the pipe through the side marked with the same pattern to get the treat. Once the bees learned how to do this, the researchers made the tunnel longer and longer, so the bees had to go farther between seeing the first pattern then having to choose the appropriate path. This became a test of how long bees could remember a pattern. The results showed that a bee's working memory lasts for about 5 seconds. That's similar to the length of short-term memory in birds when they do a test like this. Outside, bees tend to visit flowers similar to ones they visited 5 seconds earlier. Their memories help them collect food faster by visiting a lot of flowers that they already know how to handle. This also helps plants, too, making pollination more efficient. Bee memories also seem to be remarkably flexible. In an even more challenging test, the scientists put two partitions in the tunnel, each with a different pattern. The bees were able to learn how to pay attention to just one of the partitions—the first one, for instance, or the one placed a certain distance from the pipe. They were even able to do this with patterns they had never seen before. So, if some bully calls you a bee brain, thank him for the compliment, then walk away.—E. Sohn

Little Bee Brains That Could
Little Bee Brains That Could








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™