Bees Might Have Personalities

Some are more adventurous than others: Study
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2012 7:35 AM CST
A bee's brain's reward system is similar to a human's.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Bees are not merely mindless, mechanical insects with rigid behavior patterns. They may actually exhibit personalities and feelings. A new study from the University of Illinois reveals that some bees display a higher willingness to head off on adventures than others, which can be interpreted as a personality trait, reports Wired UK.

When the hive needs a new nest, around 5% of the bees will embark on a search. These same scouts are much more likely to go on hunts for food. Researchers studied the brains of these bees versus the ones who stayed home and found features of a brain-reward system that parallels the one inside a human brain. “In humans, differences in novelty-seeking are a component of personality," says an entomologist. "It looks like the same molecular pathways have been engaged repeatedly in evolution to give rise to individual differences in novelty-seeking."

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