Saturday, 23 February 2013

Bumblebees are Surprisingly Clever – They Sense Electric Fields in Flowers

Researchers were surprised at how clever bumblebees are. Image courtesy of André Karwath, Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic).

Joel Kontinen

Bumblebees know when other pollinators have been to a flower.

Recently, Daniel Robert, a biologist at the University of Bristol, UK, and his colleagues published a paper in the journal Science on how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) react to electric fields. The results were amazing.

The bumblebees used the flowers’ electric fields to find out whether other bumblebees had already been to the flower and whether it was worth going to.

It is difficult for an evolutionist to explain how a tiny bumblebee can achieve something that much bigger (and, in their worldview, more evolved) animals are unable to do.

Researchers have often been astonished at the ability of birds. Now, the ability of bumblebees testifies of the intelligence of their Designer.


Kaplan, Mark. 2013. Bumblebees sense electric fields in flowers. Nature news (21 February).