Bee Brains Beat Out Computers in Math

Tiny noggins solve shortest distance between flowers in a snap

(User Submitted) – The tiny brains of bees are able to solve complex mathematical problems that a computer would puzzle out for days. New research shows that bees (whose brains are smaller than a grass seed) use a lot of energy when they fly, so they learn the shortest route between each flower. This is known as the "traveling salesman problem," and a computer would solve it by comparing the lengths of every possible route to choose the shortest.

"Despite their tiny brains, bees are capable of extraordinary feats of behavior," one biologist says. "We need to understand how they can solve the traveling salesman problem without a computer." The study used artificial flowers to test the bees, and determined that they quickly figured out the shortest route to conserve time and energy. Read the full article.

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