If having difficulty getting along with others, we should look to the Animal Kingdom for guidance.
Especially an unexplained act of kindness by a swarm of ants. The ants appear to be holding what appears to be a bumblebee funeral.
A bumble bee is shown in the video sitting on gravel, surrounded by pinkish-purple flower petals.
Then you notice some petals approaching the bee.
That’s when you notice ants carrying flower petals to the deceased bee.
“This video was taken outside of my work by the garden. There was a dead bumblebee and the ants were bringing flower petals to lay around him. It looked like some sort of bee funeral,” Nicole Webinger wrote on Facebook.
The display astounded Webinger, who works in Stillwater, Minnesota.
The rest of the internet was as well.
Her video quickly went viral.
It appears that this is not the first time that ants have held a bee funeral.
Sophia Klahr, a Twitter user, shared photos on Twitter of circular floral arrangements surrounding a few dead bees with yellow flower petals.
“I have put Twitter back on my phone specifically to show you these circular arrangements of petals i found around multiple dead bees. If you are a scientist who knows what the hell is going on here, please tell me!” she wrote in her post.
August 28, 2022
The ants aren’t “giving the bees a dignified send-off,” according to IFL Science. “Ants live in complex colonies and use a variety of pheromones to communicate. This can be for a walking trail, to alert other ants of danger, or even just to let them know they’ve died and everyone else should probably watch out for dying, too,” IFL Science writes.
“It figures, then, that they’d be sensitive to the chemical signaling of other animals.”
“In the case of these dead bees, it’s not known why they died – but their corpses are likely sending the ants some kind of message, and so it’s possible their floristry is a response to this.”
I have put Twitter back on my phone specifically to show you these circular arrangements of petals i found around multiple dead bees. if you are a scientist who knows what the hell is going on here, please tell me! pic.twitter.com/h3D8u89WxG— sophie klahr (@sophieklahr) August 28, 2022
The ants may view the bees as their next meal.
Putting the flower petals on the bees could be an attempt to hide their meal from other scavengers.
“The arrangement would therefore be less of a funerary practice and more like hiding takeout leftovers as a UFO (unidentified foiled object) in your dorm fridge to stop prying roommates from eating them.”
Another theory is that the bees sent a signal to the ants to clean up.
Ants enjoy cleaning and use necrophoresis to keep their colonies clean.
“As an adaptation that lessens the spread of pathogens, necrophoresis sees the ants gather their smelly dead and carry them away to a dedicated tomb. Some colonies even have specialized undertaker ants for the job.”
The ants could be doing the same thing as bees – covering up the corpse to keep it from drawing attention.