Fiona Presly has become the first person known to have kept a bumblebee as a pet.
Bee, as Presly named the insect, would even “Cuddle” and seemed to be “House-trained”.
The extraordinary story sparked the interest of bee psychologist Lars Chittka, a professor in sensory and behavioural ecology at Queen Mary University of London, after Presly got in touch and related her tale.
“Although previous research shows evidence of intelligence and problem-solving skills in insects, he says, very little is known about their emotional make-up.” He believes it is possible that Bee could have formed a bond with a human due to the natural biology of her species.
“The desired state for a bumblebee queen is to be surrounded by other bees, therefore it seems plausible that such an individual should feel something rewarding from being surrounded by living beings. Also the queen might feel the opposite of that when alone, because this would signify it hadn’t succeeded in founding a colony.”
“So the question simply becomes whether the other individuals and environment for that queen necessarily have to be other bees, or could it be something of a completely different species that provides things such as warmth, reward, security and so on?”.
Presly doesn’t need scientific research to validate the bond she has with her pet, which has changed her perspective: “I don’t just view bees differently, I now see all insects in a new light. They’re here for a reason.”