'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Chimps and Bees

It wasn't all that long ago that Jane Goodall discovered that chimps use tools, thereby ruining what had until then seemed a lovely definition of the uniqueness of Homo sapiens.
So then someone suggested we were unique in the animal kingdom because we could use signs to communicate, and what's more, could  communicate abstract ideas.
But Karl Von Frisch shot both down at one fell swoop, by proving that bees communicate abstract ideas (direction of nearby food source taking into account the change of sun direction during the intervening minutes) using sign (the 'waggle' dance).

Yay bees!  You rule!
The cooler thing is that so far, only chimps have come near bees for these amazing abilities.

And us of course.

There is however one thing bees can't do that we can.  Lie.

Sketching honey bees (Apis melifera) for my upcoming exhibition
"Our Bees" with Yaniv Janson.


  1. Ants build underground cities, they farm their own food, take slaves, have road sweepers, and understand overpopulation. Not bad for a creature that we tend to just tread on!

  2. I really like the art work.

  3. Ants! Oh well, I'll just have to have ANOTHER exhibition. :-)
    Thank you Adrian.

  4. love your last line ;)
    and your bees.

  5. Two bees or not two bees - that is the question...

    1. All men are merely bees and all the world's a honeycomb.

    2. Does that mean that women are the bee keepers or the pests that threaten the health of our hives?

    3. There are more choices than just these two, aren't there YP? Shall we throw in the role of drones, female workers, and queens into the mix?

  6. Your bee drawings are delicious! I love them. That's my kind of art, that is.

    I suspected for a long time before the tools revelation that those who said we were unique because of that or any of several other things (like a sense of humour) were mistaken at best and arrogant at worst. I find it very comforting that we are not really unique among animals, except in the sense that we are all unique beings of course.


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