Scout Bees Have "Curious" Brains Like Humans

It was thought that bees were like robots who went about their work on instinct alone, but some bees have "curious" genes. The scouts who find sources of food are actually mischievous seekers. Their genes give them a brain structure similar to humans.

Scout bees are independent creatures who don't go along with the mob. They find new food sources by intuition and pure skill. Being female, they go back to the hive do a wiggle dance to pass on directions, then go out again to find a new source.

Tests were done on a hive of bees. The hive was put into an enclosure and food was put out in different colored jars. Bees that located the jars were collected and marked with a dot of paint. Later the brains of these scout bees were removed and compared with the brains of normal hive bees. Brain activity in the genes of the two types of bees differed by 16 per cent. The brains of scouts could change the levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate. Another test was done with the scouts being fed sugar water laced with a neurotransmitter "booster", The scouts became more active in their search.

This proves that dopamine and glutamate are responsible for curiosity in humans. The common ancestor of bees and Man was a marine flatworm. These basic animals would not have had scouts, so the "curious" genes developed in both lines, bees and Man, separately. It is also probable that the gene variant can become active in any animal: it is latent in the gene toolkit.
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