Ants Bring Flower Petals To Cover Dead Bumblebee And Give Bee a ‘Funeral’


Many of the things that happen in nature are mesmerizing, diverse and dynamic and sometimes mysterious. Some Animals behave in too complex a way for humans to understand. When people want to influence the behavior of animals in any way, it can prove unsuccessful and also lead to errors in communication and understanding.

One day, Nicole Webinger noticed an unusual phenomenon in nature when a colony of ants created a funeral rite for a dead bumblebee.

This event was inspiring to her, so she quickly picked up the phone and recorded the whole event, and the video she posted on Facebook became very popular.

The Minnesota resident wrote:

“Saw this outside of my work by the garden. There was a dead bumblebee, and we were watching the ants bring flower petals and leaving them around the bumblebee. It looked like they were having a funeral for it.”

When the clip went viral, many people were asked different questions about the events and did the ants really hold a funeral because of the bumblebees or was it their instinctive activity.

This has also prompted many discussions about the animal kingdom and how it is interpreted by different people.

According to Mark Elgar, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Melbourne, this great video will be used in first-year biology classes to illustrate the power of suggestion. What is actually evident from the video is the process of ants burying a bee in flower petals, which is really wonderful, but according to Edgar, it is most likely a natural occurrence of a different type.

He adds that the bee is most likely accidentally found above the top of the anthill entrance and petals are probably brought by the ants that come with the petals.

Some experts, however, believe that both ants and bees release a compound called oleic acid when they die, so when ants found a bee while transporting flower petals and considered it to be one of their colony members. They have the practice of bringing the deceased members of their colonies, throwing them in a pile of the waste.

There is also a theory that ants have tried to hide the scent of bees from potential predators, so they can eat it themselves. Experts reject this theory because no such behavior has been seen in ants.

For that video, Dana N Jesse Kendall commented that this is happening because bees and ants are in the same family (Hymenoptera), so their dead bodies will release similar pheromones when they die. Protecting their nest, ants “bury” the bodies of their dead sisters as far away from the nest, and they also dispose of colony rubbish (exoskeletons of insects, spiders, hollowed out cocoons, etc.) in the same place they move dead bodies.

The senior curator of Hymenoptera (an order of insects that includes ants, bees and wasps) at the Museum of Natural History in London, David Notton, explains that although there are some unclear circumstances as to why this happened, it is most likely that ants (vegetarians) carrying petals in their nest as food have come across to a dead bee, which somehow ended up at the top of the nest entrance. According to him, the bee was actually an obstacle for the ants and prevented them from carrying their food under their dam.

For Thomas O’Shea-Wheller, a postdoctoral researcher on entomology at Louisiana State University, this event may be “trash” for ants, to which they dispose of various decaying items (including bumblebee and petals) or a food store into which they store items that are nutrients.

Although no one can definitively explain the event so far, the video is still highly watched and continues to fascinate visitors, showing one of the many secrets of the natural world.

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