Bee comes out of nest, video

This video shows an Andrena nitida bee coming out of its nest.

Jan Willem Niemeijer in the Netherlands made this video.

Bumblebee football video

This video says about itself:

Watch a bee score a goal | Science News

23 February 2017

In experiments, buff-tailed bumblebees learned how to roll a ball to a goal (first clip), a task more bees mastered after watching a trained bee do it (second clip). When successful, bees received a sip of sugar solution as a reward.

From Science News:

Score! Bumblebees see how to sink ball in goal, then do it better

Lesson in six-legged soccer tests power of insect learning

By Susan Milius

2:32pm, February 23, 2017

Even tiny brains can learn strange and tricky stuff, especially by watching tiny experts.

Buff-tailed bumblebees got several chances to watch a trained bee roll a ball to a goal. These observers then quickly mastered the unusual task themselves when given a chance, researchers report in the Feb. 24 Science. And most of the newcomers even improved on the goal-sinking by taking a shortcut demo-bees hadn’t used, says behavioral ecologist Olli Loukola at Queen Mary University of London.

Learning abilities of animals without big vertebrate brains often get severely underestimated, Loukola says. “The idea that small brains constrain insects is kind of wrong, or old-fashioned.”

He and colleagues had previously challenged bees to learn, in stages, the not very beelike skill of pulling a string to reveal a hidden flower. Bees eventually succeeded. So the researchers devised an even more fiendish protocol to see how far insect learning could go.

Loukola invented six-legged sort-of soccer (or football for bees in London) in which a Bombus terrestris rolls a yellow ball about the size of its own body down a trackway to a central goal, where researchers dispense sugary rewards. This time, there was no pampering, no working up in stages to full completion of the test. But bees could observe a trained ball roller, a ball moving on its own (thanks to a researcher sliding a magnet under the arena) or get no advance ball-movement hints at all.

The 10 bees that saw an expert bee roll the ball and score three times before their own attempt succeeded in almost every trial at the task. Watching ghostly movement didn’t help as much, and only a few bees happened on the solution on their own. Social learning matters, but Loukola highlights the way bees changed the technique they watched. Most of the successful bees ignored the ball they had seen rolled and instead used one closer to the goal, doing less work for the same reward.

“Fascinating,” says Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex in England, who studies bumblebees. Ball rolling may not be part of routine foraging behavior, but he notes that bees do drag around nesting material, moving backward as they do when playing soccer in the test. And they occasionally remove fat almost ball-like grubs from the nest with a similar technique.

Exactly how the bees solved the problem remains a puzzle, says Bennett Galef of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who has studied social learning. He would like to know more details, for instance, about how untrained bees react to a ball.

Loukola often gets a different question: Could he train bumblebees to play a soccer match? He says he could certainly train some to score on one side of an arena and some on the opposite side. Then he might be able to study whether bumblebees could share a ball.

Bumblebee recovers by honey

This 17 February 2017 video shows a bumblebee. Exhausted, it had landed on the floor of the kitchen of Hans Looijschelder in the Netherlands.

Hans carefully put a piece of paper under the bumblebee and put it on a wall outside, out of reach for cats.

Hans then gave the bumblebee a drop of honey; which gave the insect the strength to fly again.

New bee species discovered on Texel island

This is a Barbut’s cuckoo-bee video.

Warden Erik van der Spek on Texel island in the Netherlands writes today that three bee species, new for the island, have been found this year.

Also, one species, the brown-banded carder bee, which had disappeared from Texel since the 1930s, returned in 2016.

This means that out of 357 bee species living in the Netherlands, 141 live on Texel. Six species have disappeared as far as Texel’s history is known, four of which have disappeared from the Netherlands as a whole.

The three new species of 2016 are: Andrena synadelpha; Andrena bimaculata, and the Barbut’s cuckoo-bee.

Hummingbird, bee share nectar in Texas

This video from the USA says about itself:

Hummingbird and Honey Bee Share Some Nectar – Nov. 4, 2016

Watch live at

The West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam is nestled in the mountains outside Fort Davis, Texas, at an elevation of over 6200 feet. This site hosts a total of 24 Perky-Pet® Grand Master hummingbird feeders, and during peak migration can attract hundreds of hummingbirds from a dozen species that are migrating through the arid mountains.