Schoolkids' Bee Study Lands in Prestigious Journal

Photo: fueg0

While most young students are happy just having their academic achievements displayed on the refrigerator door at home, there are others whose sights are set a little higher -- and I'm not talking about the freezer. A group of elementary schoolchildren in Devon, England recently made a study on how bees identify colors that is, well, groundbreaking. They may be kids, but for the editors of 'Biology Letters', their research was anything but child's play -- in fact, it's being hailed as "a genuine advance in the field" -- so much so, the prestigious journal has decided to publish it. The new bee study, which investigates the ways in which bees see color, was undertaken and the were results written entirely by primary school students at the Blackawton School, their ages ranging from 8 to 11 years old. So impressive was their work, that it was selected for publication in the prestigious Royal Society journal.

A report from the Huffington Post offers details:

Working with a neuroscientist from University College London, the children carefully documented their methodology and discussed the data they collected.

The group trained bees to go to targets of different colors by giving them a sugar reward, and reported that the insects are able to learn and remember cues based on color and pattern.

The study successfully went through peer review - although its presentation was slightly unconventional.

And the student-led study is winning fans in the academic community as well, particularly for its refreshingly straightforward approach to the scientific method. "The experimenters have asked a scientific question and answered it well," praised neuroscientists Laurence Maloney and Natalie Hempel, who penned a commentary that appeared with the students' study in 'Biology Letters'.

Perhaps all fields of study could benefit from the unceasing curiosity of those members of society to whom the world seems limitless and full of wonder.

The students' study can be found here.
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Tags: Biology | England | Insects

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