Be Nice to Bees Because They Know Your Face – Literally
Have you ever swatted a bee away and then questioned whether or not doing so was the smartest idea you’ve ever had because what if the bee gets mad at the repeated swatting, recognizes your face and decides to carry out a life ending mission? Ouch!
Turns out our best little pollinators know exactly who swatted them because they are actually quite good at recognizing faces.
People have known about bees literally for thousands of years. The oldest known painting of a bee was discovered in Bicorp, Spain in a cave painting that is estimated to be more than 8,000 years-old. But when it comes to recognizing humans, our faces specifically, do bees recognize us the way that we recognize them?
In a fascinating study, bees were trained to recognize the faces of humans presented to them in photographs and for each face they were correctly match, they were rewarded with a droplet of sugar water.
Ready for this? Bees were able to correctly recognize human faces up to 90 percent of the time and not just after they were shown photographs, but up to two days later and even when their sugar water reward was taken away from them.
Scientists at Cornell say that although bees don’t have the same sort of complex brain system that we as humans do, they are still able to recognize things and quite well. As a matter of fact, some bees can visit up to 5,000 flowers in one single day, recognizing which buds give off nectar and which don’t. So, its kind of like bees have some sort of working memory and scientists say that they can’t wait to dive even deeper into their study of that.