Summary of “What Is It Like to Be a Bee?”

“You can start to think at least in what senses the experience of something like a bee might be different from ours”-how they structure the world around them, say, or whether they experience “Space” the way we do.
We might be able to imagine having webbed arms and hands, like a bat, or five eyes, like a bee, but the specific senses and abilities these animals possess are frankly inconceivable.
So far as bee consciousness goes he thinks there are likely to be some factors in consciousness that we share, like vision, and some that we don’t at all, “Whether it’s sensory systems that humans have that bees don’t have, or whether it’s things more like concepts, like language, that give us a kind of consciousness that bees don’t have.”
“We don’t think the bees are aware of having experiences that feel like something to them. The bee is not going round saying to itself, ‘Gee, it’s a lovely day, look at that flower.’ It doesn’t have any of these more sophisticated, reflexive kinds of consciousness.”
If they watch a plastic bee scoring goals with a soccer ball, they can follow suit for a sugar water reward.
In a study published last year, Barron and Klein investigated the structure of the bee brain, which seems to be made up of similar bits to our own, with a region responsible for similar tasks.
“Unless there’s some kind of danger, and then it does that, unless it’s hungry, and then it does this-so you can really map out what it’s going to do.” In bees, he says, there seems to be a kind of qualitative shift, in which the brain is somehow more than its connections.
All of this neurobiology is beginning to paint a picture-that it feels like nothing to be a C. elegans, or a robot, or a plant, but it probably feels like something to be a bee.

The orginal article.