Although bees are separated from humans by about 600 million years with a common ancestor that had only a rudimentary nervous system, they still share over 60% of our Genome. Any commonly observed learning principles between bees and humans may be consequently either basal, or may have evolved in parallel due to their efficiency. While the universality of associative learning among the animal kingdom is well established, recent advances on honeybee’s cognition push further our understanding of shared mechanisms. Honeybees demonstrate the ability to prioritise information depending on context and the cost associated with making errors. Individual bees show evidence of having different heuristic approaches to solve complex tasks, and maintaining a diversity of cognitive strategies is also probably highly adaptive for group success. Bees can learn key numerosity abilities that humans acquire at school, such as the ability to add and subtract, understand the concept of zero and also how to link symbols with the specific numbers of items present. Such knowledge on bee cognitive-like processing serves as a source of inspiration for a better understanding of the biological roots of our intelligence, and may help shape educational theories or strategies to improve artificial intelligence efficiency.

In: Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy