Armed chimps on honey raids

Chimpanzees use “toolkit” of wooden instruments to raid beehives, footage shows

Chimpanzees arm themselves with a “toolkit” of wooden utensils, including large clubs made from branches, to break open beehives and steal the honey inside, scientists in the Republic of Congo have found. Using cameras to observe their behaviour over the course of four years, researchers have been able to document how prevalent this behaviour is among chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle in the Congo Basin, the BBC reports. Breaking into a beehive can take several hours, they said, noting that chimps seem to prefer the hives of stingless bees, for obvious reasons. “The nutritional returns don’t seem to be that great,” says Crickette Sanz, from the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. “But their excitement when they’ve succeeded is incredible, you can see how much they are enjoying tasting the honey.” The study is published in the International Journal of Primatology.

BBC News

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.