Everybody knows and possibly loves Tiger Woods, the accomplished golf player. However, when it comes to the game itself, we all know that not everybody was born to play it. But, a recent and rather peculiar laboratory experiment reveals that not only humans are able to play and ace the game.
Golf is not usually the type of game to associated with non-sentient beings. Even those who did not play the game know that it takes great skill and mental discipline to ace the finer points of this ancient game which, according to some historian, dates to the 15th century.
But a team of researchers from the United Kingdom proved that insects, such as bees, can learn to play golf faster and more efficiently than humans. The experiment was performed at the Queen Mary University’s laboratories, and its purpose was to discovered just how intelligent bees are.
One would expect a boring lab experiment involving tons of math and computer-simulated models, but it would see that this particular one was pretty fun. So, in order to test the bee’s intelligence, the team of scientists from the Queen Mary University has set up a miniature golf course – a tall glass plate coated with an adhesive agent with a hole in the middle. Later on, the scientists would place special balls on the makeshift golf course and call in their buzzing players.
Before starting the tournament, the scientists had to teach the bees how the game is played, and, of course, to show them the rewards system. Thus, by using a thin rod with a rubber that mimics the color of the bee, one of the scientists moved the ball around the field and then placed it in the hole. After that, they reward the bee with a sugar-based solution.
After a couple of demonstrations, the scientists allowed the bees to figure out what to do with the ball. To their amazement, the bees picked up the game’s rules in a jiffy, and pretty soon they began to try out new ball placement strategies.
Olli Loukola, one of the scientists involved in the project, declared that these bees did not only prove that they are clever, but that they can adapt in order to overcome each obstacle. Loukola added that this type of quick learning could tremendously help the bees forage nectar in the wild, regardless of what obstacles they might encounter.
Image source: Pixabay