Re: "there's no reasoning going on inside those digital brains"
"that is an insult to the bumblebee"
Having studied bumble bees and observed them for years, I've come to the conclusion that their learning process operates very like current AI. They apparently learn by starting from pure trial and error, that then gets refined by the statistics of outcome. Thus a model develops based, if crudely, on the probability of success. However, once the probability of successes reaches a certain level they seem to stop adapting the model, at least in the short term.
Just for example, I used to have a bumble bee nest in my wood shed. There was a gap at the bottom of the door through which they would fly in and out in support of the nest. But if I opened the door they would buzz around in confusion both inside and outside the shed, unable to find their way in or out. Clearly, in the early stages of creating the nest, a 'picture' of the way in and out had been imprinted, and they could not adapt short term to changes in it. If I'd left the door open for a long while they might have adjusted, but I didn't so I can't comment on that. However it is observable that different individual bumble bees (not just different species) can develop preferences for foraging on specific species or colours of flower, even where they may be not very numerous and there is plenty of pollen and nectar on alternatives nearby. This again looks like fixation of early imprinting.
The admittedly extraordinary capacities for navigation, flight, foraging mechanisms (buzz pollination etc.) and nesting behviour are indeed, as an entire set, way beyond anything our current robotics can deliver, but that's not down to intelligence - it's an outcome of evolutionary selection.The bees don't apply intelligence to performing them - the mechanisms are essentially hard wired.
Way back in the late 80's I annoyed folks at a microrobotics seminar by stating "when you can build a robot the size of a bumble bee that can do everything a bumble bee can do with comparable energy exchange, you'll have achieved something worth reporting".