Karen Belz
February 24, 2017 2:13 pm

We think a lot of things about bees. Many of us find them to be a bit annoying (since hello, stingers) but they’re such a crucial part of our atmosphere. Not only do they pollinate our crops, but they pollinate crops for our livestock. A world without bees is kind of a scary place.

It turns out that bees are also complex insects, and in order to study them further, scientists taught a few bees how to play football. While their skills aren’t really Super Bowl-worthy, it’s still pretty cool to witness.

The entire study was done through Science, and in teaching the insects how to play, scientists realized that they’ve got pretty active brains. We had a feeling — after all, the hierarchy of a beehive in itself is pretty intense.

All it took was for a group of bees see one bee get rewarded with sugar water after dragging a “ball” into a goal area.

When the reward was involved, other bees decided to follow suit.

In short? Bees have a lot going on up in there, and have proven that they’re capable of learning on a complex level. It also proved that bees can learn a lot from each other, as well. They’re incredibly good at teamwork.

The study also found out that the bees responded best when watching a “dummy bee” perform the action, instead of something else. The scientists tried using a magnet to demonstrate the ball moving, but the bees just didn’t pick up on this type of demonstration quite as well. In a way, that little fact is pretty endearing.

So, next time you see a bee, remember — not only are they important, but they’re a lot smarter than you think.