The zero, which symbolizes nothing, the neutral or the absence, being a relatively recent human construction, these results, published in Science on June 8, 2018, question the symbolic importance of the zero in the history of mathematics.
It had already been shown that some vertebrates mastered complex numerical concepts, such as addition or zero, but nothing had been proven in insects. Since bees can count at least 5, researchers have trained them in the concept of “bigger than” and “smaller than”.
Scarlett R. Howard, Aurore Avarguès-Weber, Jair Garcia, Andrew Greentree, Adrian G. Dyer.
“Bees extrapolate ordered relations to place numerosity zero on a numerical continuum”
Science, 2018. DOI:10.1126/science.aar4975