insect brains

Bees make decisions better and faster than we do

Research reveals how we could design robots to think like bees

Bees available to film at Macquarie and Sheffield, video overlay and graphics available.

Image Credit Théotime Colin.

Honey bees have to balance effort, risk and reward, making rapid and accurate assessments of which flowers are mostly likely to offer food for their hive. Research published in the journal eLife today reveals how millions of years of evolution has engineered honey bees to make fast decisions and reduce risk.

The study enhances our understanding of insect brains, how our own brains evolved, and how to design better robots.

The paper presents a model of decision-making in bees and outlines the paths in their brains that enable fast decision-making. The study was led by Professor Andrew Barron from Macquarie University in Sydney, and Dr HaDi MaBouDi, Neville Dearden and Professor James Marshall from the University of Sheffield.

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