Nature and its creations are wonderful and miraculous! Sometimes, the behavioral patterns of the animals are actually complex for us to understand. In such cases we use human nature to insert into the animal world.
This insertion sometimes leads to success while sometimes makes errors of interspecies communication and understanding.
However one day Nicole Webinger, a woman was astonished to see this strange incident which we’re about to present to you today. What did she see? A colony of ants was making a funeral to honour the dead body of a bumblebee.
Webinger got a quick idea to film this phenomena into her phone. She filmed the whole event. At the end she posted this amazing and stunning video on Facebook.
The Minnesota resident wrote above the post as:
“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.”
The video clip filmed by Nicole spreaded as viral among a lot of people. Thousands of them were questioning Nicole asking whether these ants were actually creating a funeral for the dead bumblebee.
The video was able to make discussions on the marvellous animal kingdom. Many people who were interested gave so many interpretations. Many of them were surprised about the incident. Most of them were doubtful whether it was a coincidental incident or a kind of a cultural rite.
Mark Elgar, A behavioral ecologist from the University of Melbourne stated:
“It’s a great video. I’ll use it for teaching first-year biology next year to illustrate the power of suggestion. The caption tells us that the ants are burying the bee in flower petals — how wonderful is that?”
According to what Edgar said, it’s the caption on the post that makes us think that the group of ants are burying the dead bumblebee using flower petals. He said that this amazing incident is just a natural phenomena of a different kind.
He also said:
“My guess is that the bee is sitting over the top of the ants’ nest entrance, and that is why there are a number of petals sitting around the bee, including more ants arriving with petals.
Of course, it might be a complete set- up. Someone actually put the bee there thinking this might happen, creating this lovely image.”
Some other experts stated that both bees and ants release a compound known as oleic acid after their death. They said that it’s the acid which made them carry flower petals to the dead bumblebee. They said that these ants might have been transporting flower petals at the moment. Did you know that ants have a habit of carrying the deceased members of their colonies to a refuse heap?
One other theory about this incident said that the ants were trying to hide bees and its scents from the predators. Therefore, they’re able to have the bee themselves. But, this theory was not accepted by the experts since this type of behaviour in ants have not been seen before. This is the first and only incident as an example.
There was another possible answer and it said that the ants were making a trash heap.
After watching the video on Ants Canada, Dana N Jesse Kendall wrote:
“Bees and ants are in the same family (Hymenoptera), so their dead bodies are going to release similar pheromones once they die. Ants protect their nest, and ‘bury’ the bodies of their dead sisters as far from the nest as they can.
They also discard the colony’s trash (insect exoskeletons, hatched cocoons, poop, etc) in the same place that they move the dead bodies to.
Discarding dead bodies and colonial trash in the same area cultivates symbiotic insects called ‘springtails’ and they feed on, and break down, the dead bodies and other trash, which keeps mold and bacteria out of the nest. As ‘cool’ as it is to imagine that the ants have some level of sentience that will allow for altruistic behavior, it’s just not possible.”
According to the idea of David Notton, A Senior Curator of Hymenoptera , the order of insects which consists bees, ants and wasps, at the Natural History Museum, London:
“[It’s] hard to say as the locality and type of ant is not clear, but most probably they are harvester ants (vegetarian) taking petals back to their nest as food, and a dead bee has somehow ended up on top of the nest entrance. That is to say, the bee may be more of an obstacle for the ants if it is preventing them from taking food down their burrow.”
A postdoctoral researcher of entomology at Louisiana State University, Thomas O’Shea-Wheller, stated as follows:
“I think it is one of two things; either a ‘rubbish mound’ for the ants, upon which they are stacking various decomposing items (including a bumblebee and petals). Or, a food store upon which they are storing items that they have foraged for. Either way, the key point is that they seem to be treating the bee and petals as the same kind of resource, or waste product, thus the appearance of a ‘bee funeral’.”
Eventually, none was able to describe the significant incident. Thus, the video still keeps entertaining thousands of citizens around the world, showing off a magnificent secret of the natural world.