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Scientists who study animal behavior are learning all kinds of things about how nonhuman species perceive the world and what drives their actions. One striking example was a study published in late 2022 that described bees spontaneously rolling small wooden balls in a lab when no reward was involved – in other words, engaging in a form of play.

University of Arizona entomologist Stephen Buchmann has studied bees for nearly 50 years and found that they have many amazing capabilities. Drawing from his new book, “What a Bee Knows,” Buchmann explains how bees experience the world and why scientists believe these remarkable insects can learn, remember and perhaps even dream.

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Jennifer Weeks

Senior Environment + Energy Editor

A bumblebee lands on the flowers of a white sloe bush. Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bees can learn, remember, think and make decisions – here’s a look at how they navigate the world

Stephen Buchmann, University of Arizona

Scientists are learning amazing things about bees’ sensory perception and mental capabilities.

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