Numerical ordering of zero in honey bees

Scarlett R. Howard, Aurore Avarguès-Weber, Jair E. Garcia, Andrew D. Greentree, Adrian G. Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Some vertebrates demonstrate complex numerosity concepts-including addition, sequential ordering of numbers, or even the concept of zero-but whether an insect can develop an understanding for such concepts remains unknown. We trained individual honey bees to the numerical concepts of "greater than" or "less than" using stimuli containing one to six elemental features. Bees could subsequently extrapolate the concept of less than to order zero numerosity at the lower end of the numerical continuum. Bees demonstrated an understanding that parallels animals such as the African grey parrot, nonhuman primates, and even preschool children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1126
Number of pages3
Issue number6393
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2018

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