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Today in frivolous news: Study shows bees can play golf

February 27, 2017


A few days ago I saw a headline about a study involving bees and golf, news that conjured an old bit from Jerry Seinfeld on seedless watermelons. Don't get us wrong; we're all for growing the game. But on the list of problems and disease man is trying to overcome, getting insects into the sport seems low on the totem pole.

However, I later heard that bees are becoming endangered in the United States, raising the question: could golf be the savior of our black-and-yellow friends?

Though the aforementioned study in Science Magazine won't go that far, researchers did use golf in its experiment. In order to test cognitive complexity of bumblebees' brains, academics had a golf-ball sized hole in a platform, filling the gap with a sugar substance. In order to reach the sugar, bees were required to move the ball into the cup. After seeing a demonstration with a plastic bee on a stick, the test subjects achieved the goal with little effort.

The research proved that bees do have the capacity for a high-level of cognitive abilities, something I can't say for the members of my usual weekend foursome.

It's an impressive study, but if the academics truly want to assess the discernment of bees, give them a copy of the USGA rule book. A tougher golf test, we do not know.