In “Do Bees Have Feelings?: Provocative experiments suggest that insects have something like an emotional life” (Scientific American, August 2, 2011), Jason Castro tells us,
Recently, studies by Geraldine Wright and her colleagues at Newcastle University in the UK have rekindled debate over these issues by showing that honeybees may experience something akin to moods.
Using simple behavioral tests, Wright’s research team showed that like other lab-tested brooders — which so far include us, monkeys, dogs, and starlings — stressed bees tend to see the glass as half empty. While this doesn’t (and can’t) prove that bees experience human-like emotions, it does give pause. We should take seriously the possibility that it feels like something to be an insect.
Didn’t any of these people ever notice before that wild bees very readily assume that anyone in their way is hostile? If that’s all they mean by feelings, yes of course.
There is no way of determining what it feels like to be an insect, as was demonstrated by Thomas Nagel in “What is it like to be a bat?” The weasel word is “like “.
Here bees demonstrate their love for Honda Accords:
Shame on you for thinking they have no feelings! Anyone who loves the Honda Accord …
See also, more seriously: Animal minds: Our dog’s world is not like ours
Humans project guilt feelings onto their dogs
and, of course, Oscar the Deathcat