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European honey bee (Apis mellifera) on a flower, Hymenoptera.

Honeybees are pretty good at math, it turns out. A study by researchers in France and Australia published in Science found that bees can be trained to understand the mathematical concept of zero. Zero, meaning the absence of any quantity, is a relatively new concept thought to have been developed in India before the fifth century. This concept allows us to perform calculus, do complicated equations, and to have invented computers.

While bees probably won’t be inventing their own computers anytime soon, mathematical understanding is an indication of a certain level of intelligence. In the study, bees demonstrated math skills that parallel those seen in the African grey parrot, nonhuman primates and even preschool children.

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