In Mozambique, the Yao still depend on honey for food, and like other African hunter-gathers have a millennia-old partnership with a wild bird to make finding bee nests easier.
C.N. Spottiswoode, K.S. Begg, C.M. Begg (Science, 2016)
Research published in Science this week shows the greater honeyguide homes in on a human's call, then leads the way to a nest.
Otherwise, nests can be hard to find, as they are often hidden high up inside trees.
After the honey hunter smokes out the tree as seen in the embedded photo, below, he then chops down the tree and opens the nest.
He collects and eats the honey.
Finally, he rewards his helper by placing the broken honeycombs on a bed of leaves for the bird to feast on.
The relationship benefits the honeyguide, too, as without the human’s help, it would have a hard time gaining access to so much honeycomb.
Jul 21 2016
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