What is play? In the animal kingdom, the answer is simple: it is an activity that has no immediate benefit, i.e. it does not provide an obvious advantage, such as a source of food, a partner or a place to shelter. Play is very common among 'higher' animals; mammals, birds and even some cephalopods, such as octopuses, play. But insects? Do they play? A recent series of observations on bumblebees published by researchers at Queen Mary University of London in the journal, Animal Behaviour, seems to indicate that they do. Bumblebees (a large group of hymenoptera belonging to the Bombus genus) are those plump bees that we see flying around flowers in summer seeking nectar to feed on. The research team gave some bumblebees coloured wooden balls and prizes in the form of sugary juices. The bumblebees ate and rolled the balls seemingly for no reason. When the researchers removed the food, they noticed that the bumblebees continued to 'play' with the balls, proving that there was no essential correlation between the two activities (eating and rolling). So why were these insects 'playing' ball? Perhaps even the simplest animals are capable of having fun? More research is still needed to answer this fascinating question.