What makes bees so sweet?

Discovery Place Nature

Everyone knows bees are awesome sauce. And at the Museum we agree.

People are familiar with their plight and how our existence is attached to it, but we bet you didn’t know a few of the facts below that make bees even sweeter than you thought.

We’re looking at you

If the whole pollination thing doesn’t work out, bees can get a job with the TSA at the airport because they can recognize human faces. Say what?!

Yep, it’s true. Bees have facial recognition intelligence powers. Just like a security scan at a checkpoint, bees use ‘configural processing,’ essentially breaking a face apart into pieces such as lips, eyes, eyebrows and then piecing it back together. So you may want to stop procrastinating about planting that pollinator-friendly garden in your yard; the bees know who you are! We’re just sayin’.

Forget Game of Thrones, bees are better

Admittedly that header was just to get your attention, but bees do have some pretty nifty navigation techniques that would be the envy of even the most noble of Valemen.

More Viking-like, bees use the sun as a compass (similar to a sundial). But how do they not get lost on a cloudy day? Polarized light of course! Photoreceptors come in very handy when navigating their voyage.

Same-day delivery service

Speaking of navigation, delivery drivers have nothing on bees. When it comes to getting the job done and the pollen delivered, bees win hands-down – or should that be wings up?

Bees have the ability to calculate the shortest route between flowers. Mathematicians call this the ‘travelling salesmen problem,’ and bees are the only ones in the animal kingdom known to have solved it.

Sign here, please

Has this made you even more of a bee fan? Want to see some honey bees in action and learn more about their un-bee-lievable talents? Stop by the Museum to watch active beehives and join the Beekeeper Q&A. You may even be able to purchase some Discovery Place Nature honey to take home. Sweet!

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