Researchers in Australia have discovered that honey bees have the ability to count — at least to the number four.
A scientist from the University of Queensland put five markers inside a tunnel and placed nectar in one of them, Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio reported.
Honey bees placed in the tunnel flew to the marker with the food, and would still fly to the same marker stripe when the food was removed.
"We find that if you train them to the third stripe, they will look subsequently in the third stripe," researcher Mandyam Srinivasan said.
"If you train them to the fourth stripe, they will look the fourth stripe and so on. But their ability to count seems to go only up to four. They can't count beyond four.
"The more we look at these creatures that have a brain the size of a sesame seed, the more astonished we are. They really have a lot of the capacities that we so-called higher human beings possess."
The research was carried out jointly with Swedish researcher Marie Dacke.