Researchers field their 'bee' team in football experiment

Scientists at London's Queen Mary University have taught bees to play football, in an attempt to test the limits of their cognitive capacity.

In the experiment, bumblebees were shown how to manipulate a little ball into a "goal" and when they did it, they'd get a reward: sugar water.

After a few demonstrations, the bees would start to figure it out for themselves.

"We wanted to know what elements of the demonstrations the bees were paying attention to," said cognitive neuroethologist Clint J Perry. "Was it social? Was it the movement of the ball?"

Scientists found that bees who were 'taught' by fellow bees picked up the game more quickly than those which were shown using a ball controlled by a magnet.

The study, which was published in Science Thursday, may have some New Zealand Football selectors buzzing.

Could there bee some potential new recruits for our national side?