I wouldn’t believe this if I had seen it with my own eyes! Sam Droege, bee scientist extraordinaire, has a USGS Flickr website populated with great bee photographs. Last week, somewhere around April first, Sam posted the results of some clandestine bee training going on in a secret lab in the USA. They are teaching bees to drive tiny cars!
The scientists reward successful drivers (“Keep it between the ditches, ladies!”) with a sweet treat. Eventually, I guess, the bees get good at driving and take their car out for a spin, just for fun. I understand that they . . . well, let Sam’s group tell the story:
Scientists capitalized on recent revelations that bees are a lot smarter than previously thought. In addition to being able to count and solve simple puzzles USGS scientists at the Patuxent Native Bee Lab have taught bees to driver miniaturized automobiles. Using rewards such as flower smoothies and honey laced with addictive pollens, bees were gradually induced to drive in order to continue receiving their rewards. The study came to an unfortunate ending when one of the lab assistants was overwhelmed by angry bees who felt that the researchers were holding back on their pollen loads. Future plans are in the work to use less coercive methods and talks are in progress with several bee advocacy groups. For release on April 1, 2019. Photography by Brooke Goggins.