Bee News

African Honeyguide birds cooperate with humans to harvest hive products

What an amazing story about a relationship of cooperative hunting between two species: humans and the honeyguide.

Scientists have determined that humans and their honeyguides communicate with each other through an extraordinary exchange of sounds and gestures, which are used only for honey hunting and serve to convey enthusiasm, trustworthiness and a commitment to the dangerous business of separating bees from their hives.

The birds can recruit helpers with a chatter, or be recruited with a trill-grunt. They can show their human companions the right trees with more chatters or a flick of their white-tipped tails. When assisted by honeyguides, Yao hunters found beehives 54 percent of the time, compared with just 17 percent when unaided.

Read the full story here: In Africa, Birds and Humans Form a Unique Honey Hunting Party