Female bees choose mates based on buzzing 'language'

A recent study details the mating preferences of bees — or, more specifically, how some female bees choose with males they'll mate with. Researchers had previously believed it had something to do with how long and powerfully a male bee could buzz, but this latest study indicates it is about what the buzzing says about the bee. Female bees can tell where a male bee is from based on his buzzing pattern, and uses that to accept or reject him.

Researchers studied Red Mason Bees in Europe, doing so with the suspicion that male bees from different places (Germany, etc.) spoke different "languages". They tested this by applying a magnet to change the vibration pattern produced by male bees, tweaking it so that the bee sounded as if it were from a different place (making a German bee sound English, for example).

When they did this, female bees would reject bees who sounded as if they were from elsewhere. When the bee's regular pattern was restored, however, females from the same region would be receptive to mating, indicating that buzzing is a sort of accent by which judgements are made.

Recently, a study was published detailing how some bees are as fond of caffeine as their human counterpart, and how some plants produce the substance to purposely attract the bees. In that case, the bees will keep going back to check out the caffeinated plants long after they've dried up, doing so to the detriment of adventurous and expansive food hunting.

SOURCE: Gizmodo