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Two bees work together to successfully remove the cap of a soda bottle in un-bee-liveable video

Some people think bees are not given credit for how smart they are, while others think they will soon be taking over the world.

Two bees work together to successfully remove the cap of a soda bottle in un-bee-liveable video
Cover Image source: Michael Moran

Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 28, 2021. It has since been updated.

Bees know how to get the job done. They know that teamwork makes the dream work and this was caught in action on camera. A video of two bees successfully opening a soft drinks bottle to reach the sugary liquid inside has now gone viral. We all know bees are super smart but they outdo themselves every day with something new up their sleeve. The tiny creatures are vital for our civilization as we depend on them to pollinate plants. They are also quite ingenious in how they build a structurally sound beehive and protect their queen from all harm.

The video was first uploaded to the YouTube channel ViralHog. The Fanta bottle that the bees claimed, belonged to a person from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The video was recorded during their lunch break at work. "I got a soda from a customer but soon the bees stole it," the person said of the video. The plastic bottle cap seemed to be gently placed on the bottle. Two bees perched on opposite sides of the cap, labored to screw the cap off, as the owner of the drink looked on. "The bees teamed up to steal my soda," the person can be heard saying in Portuguese. "And they will do it. Look, so smooth." 




The video was even captioned "trabalho em equipe é tudo" which means "teamwork is everything." And it most certainly was. The video nearly has a million views. It soon made its way to other social media as well. Micheal Moran shared the video on Twitter and wrote: Well, that's it for humanity. We've had a decent run but if bees have mastered the screw-top lid I think this is the beginning of the end. The video has been met with a mixed reaction. While some people think bees are not given credit for how smart they are, there are others, like Moran, who think they will soon be taking over the world.









The bees maybe tiny compared to us but their intelligence has been proven time and again through research. According to Science Alert, bees are able to learn from each other, work together, use tools, and even do basic math. Despite having a brain that is a fraction the size of our own, the bees have shown many smarts. Karl von Frisch, was the Austrian scientist who first researched and was awarded the Nobel prize for the honey bee waggle dance. He found that it was a non-verbal form of communication among bees collecting nectar. He believed that bees functioned on hardwired instinct and not intelligence.

But even he admitted that bees were capable of accomplishing "astonishing intellectual feats." But even he could not have imagined them being able to unscrew the cap of a Fanta bottle. Recent research with bumblebees shows that they "show cognitive flexibility by improving on an observed complex behavior." Researchers found that smart bees would undertake a task not in their usual job description if they knew there was a reward at the end of it. In the research, "bees were trained to know the correct location of the ball. Subsequently, to obtain a reward, bees had to move a displaced ball to the defined location."


The movement of the ball was demonstrated via a “ghost” demonstration (ball moved via magnet.) The bees turned out to be smarter than assumed and moved a ball closest to the target to get the same result. "Such unprecedented cognitive flexibility hints that entirely novel behaviors could emerge relatively swiftly in species whose lifestyle demands advanced learning abilities, should relevant ecological pressures arise," the research stated. Then the bees unscrewing a bottle cap is not all that far-fetched at all.


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