Symbolic representation of numerosity by honeybees (Apis mellifera): matching characters to small quantities

The assignment of a symbolic representation to a specific numerosity is a fundamental requirement for humans solving complex mathematical calculations used in diverse applications such as algebra, accounting, physics and everyday commerce. Here we show that honeybees are able to learn to match a sign to a numerosity, or a numerosity to a sign, and subsequently transfer this knowledge to novel numerosity stimuli changed in colour properties, shape and configuration.

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