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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Linton, In
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    82

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
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    87

    Post

    This is an interesting article. I have never thought about bees being able to recognize faces. I have often had honey bees that were not mine come to me and fly around me as though checking me out. This has actually happened to me in large groups of people and on a few occasions while I was in town. I have often thought that possibly beekeepers give off a certain odor from bee stings or handling honey, wax and propolis.Have any of you had this happen to you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Athens, Ill
    Posts
    141

    Post

    I have here at home, figured it was for the same reasons listed above. Havent had it haqppen away form here. Wouldnt that be a conversation starter.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    5,080

    Post

    If they had used ink blotches I think they would have come up with the same results. The bees just remembered the designs on the paper.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
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    87

    Post

    Iddee,
    You are probably right. They have some sort of memory or they could not find their way back home. Primitive GPS or something.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wetumpka ,Alabama
    Posts
    510

    Post

    I think my hives remember my fathers face and associate it with danger.It never fails,when we open a hive up,they sting him every time,while leaveing me alone.Don't get me wrong they do buzz me but he is the one that gets stung .If it's not the face maybe it's the smell or something..
    Drugstore what part of alabama you from?
    If you build it they will comb it.<br />Tim Rolan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
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    1,525

    Post

    The lead researcher says “bees don’t normally go around looking at faces.” I know my bees look at my face. And they go for the eyes when they get mad. So how much else is he wrong about?

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
    Posts
    87

    Post

    KingBee,
    I live close to a little town called Wetumpka.
    It is a small world.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    1,014

    Post

    I hope we can prove it true; that bees recognize faces.
    Then we can move this thread to "Why Bees Abscond"
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
    Posts
    87

    Post

    Harry,
    You may have stumbled onto something. Ugly beekeepers may cause bees to abscond. Can't say I ever had any to do that. I would not admit it now for sure. HA!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Ah, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Just look at all the happily married ugly people in the world and you know it's true!

    I don't doubt for a second that bees can recognize faces. I know they see me coming, and I know they distinguish between me and my wife- they react quite differently to us. Surely other people have noticed this?

    Of course, she not only looks different from me (much better) but she smells better than I do to, so maybe it's not just vision..

    &gt;“bees don’t normally go around looking at faces.” I know my bees look at my face.

    Oh you know it Hawk.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    I'm with Hawk. My girls often "check me out" when I'm working in the garden or what have you. They seem to recognize me and then go their own way. Yesterday I was sitting on my front porch making Christmas wreaths. I must've had hundreds of little bee visitors! I'm sure the smell of the pine sap etc. is what drew them, but whatever, it sure was nice to have company while I worked.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    Back when my Buckfasts went postal they definitely recognized me. They would hunt me down at my back porch 150 yards or more from the hive, days after I worked them last, and sting me. No one else. Just me. They would buzz other people, but they not sting them. I always figured they had a contract out on me and I had been "marked".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    I'm nearly finished an article on this for Bee
    Culture that should run in early 2006. I've read
    a pre-print of the paper, traded e-mails back and
    forth with the authors of the paper, and the main
    thrust of the article is to attempt to counter the
    myths that go something like "my bees recognize
    me".

    While bees have the ability to be TRAINED to
    associate a specific human face with a nectar
    reward, this is a behavior that must be learned,
    and it is not easy for bees to learn this. After
    as many as 10 training sorties, most bees picked
    the correct face only 80% of the time.

    Bees learn other tasks more quickly in similar
    settings, where the "reward" of nectar prompts
    them to make some sort of association.

    While this is a very good study to show just
    how detailed a bees "vision system" and "flower
    memory" is, it should not prompt anyone to
    slip into rampant anthropomorphisms.

    Think about the lifespan of a bee, and the odds
    that the same bee will ever see the beekeeper
    more than once in its life. Pretty low odds
    unless you are out there tearing down the same
    hive on a daily basis. It follows that bees
    simply do not have enough chances to see the
    beekeeper to ever "recognize" him/her.

    The instinctive preference for stinging around
    eyes and other dark areas on light backgrounds
    is another issue entirely. Bees will sting a
    high-contrast area on a leather ball suspended
    in front of the hive, one of the "standard tests"
    to identify AHB from EHB by measuring their
    reaction to "an intruder".

    As far as Mike being hunted down, I suspect
    that he was not stung, but head-butted by
    a "Kamakazz-bee", the bees that try to warn
    off an intruder by ramming the intruder at
    high-speed. Those who wear veils can hear
    the unique "thunk" against the mesh. I've
    yet to measure this, but I am convinced that
    this results in some alarm pheromone being
    splashed, not that I know the physiological
    details involved.

    So, while bees can be TRAINED to associate
    complex images with a food reward, they are
    never as good at it as any mammal. (For example,
    a St. Bernard puppy at 4 weeks can recognize
    his owner at a distance of over 100 feet, and
    without any signal or cue, will tend to walk
    to his owner, rather than "strangers" randomly
    distributed around the same field.)

    If anyone wants a copy of the paper, e-mail
    me at bee-quick@bee-quick.com, but please
    understand that it is embargoed until Dec 15th.
    While I don't see any problem with releasing it
    to people who might be able to offer contrasting
    views that would make for a better article, don't
    put it up on a website. The JEB would be annoyed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    &gt;After as many as 10 training sorties, most bees picked the correct face only 80% of the time.

    Well that’s not bad. When dance language studies are being conducted trying to prove bees do communicate through dance, bees often visit sugar solution stations with less percentages than that and the dance language aficionados still claim success. Personally, I’m inclined to doubt both the face recognition and dance language, but then that’s just my opinion.

    BTW Jim, where did you come up with your information? Was it from Gould and Gould 'The Honey Bee' again? [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    [size="1"][ December 12, 2005, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: Dick Allen ][/size]

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    1,649

    Post

    For those who don't regularly follow Bee-L, this just arrived:

    http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-...&F=&S=&P=18123

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Post

    As far as I read the article, the scientists are claiming that bees are capable of distinguishing among human faces, not that they identify individual humans. While they may or may not recognize individuals, the scientists are simply studying the underlying abilities to discriminate among human faces (patterns, etc.).

    I'm curious: for those who doubt the dance language, what are the bees doing when they "dance," then? And, why can we as humans interpret (and even use robots to tell bees where to find targets) the "dance language?" I'd like to hear alternate hypotheses for the waggle and circle dances.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    1,649

    Post

    Here are many of Adrian Wenner's writings about his disagreement with dance language:

    http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/index.htm

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
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    Adrian Wenner seems, mainly, to have a conflict between the visual versus the audible components of the dance. Think of it this way: if someone reads lips and communicates to another that humans have a "lip-moving language," while another denies that language and preferentially calls is a "sound-producing language," does it substantially change the method of communication?

    I'll agree that chemical cues play a large role in honey bee communication and orientation toward food resoureces, but I have a hard time throwing away von Frisch's dance language. If it's nonsense, like Wenner and others might claim, why can we as humans interpret these "dances" with a high degree of relevency? For those who don't believe it, read up on interpreting the dances of honey bees, then place a yellow pan of sugar water out in a field fairly close to the bees, watch their dances (easier in an observation hive) and see if their dances correlate to the position of the pan. To test the idea of the smell (which von Frisch and his students did, with success), simply move the yellow pan from its original position. If they immediately fly to the pan, they're relying on smell. If they keep returning to the previous location of the pan, they're using another (maybe "dance language?") form of communication.

    This is a bit off the original thread, I know, but I couldn't let this sort of comment pass without making a comment of my own. As someone in the research community, I have a great deal of respect for the scientific review process, and I personally know Dr. Rudolf Jander, who was a graduate student under Dr. Karl von Frisch while von Frisch's lab was decoding the dance language of honey bees.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    &gt;if someone reads lips and communicates to another that humans have a "lip-moving language," while another denies that language and preferentially calls is a "sound-producing language," does it substantially change the method of communication?

    Hehe.. Nice point. I suppose this original observer communicated his thoughts on a lip-moving language to someone else via sign? Hehe..

    &gt;As far as Mike being hunted down, I suspect
    that he was not stung, but head-butted by
    a "Kamakazz-bee"

    Michael, are you *sure* you were stung? How sure are you? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

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