Did you know: The Dance of the Honey Bee 🎥
Updated: Mar 17
Language is considered to be a distinctive human phenomenon, but there is another creature that communicates in a extraordinary way: the honeybee. Bees feed on pollen and nectar produced by plants. They live in colonies with many individuals who have to work together, so effective communication is crucial. Honeybees search high and wide for the best flowers. And when they find them, they go back to the hive and "tell" the other bees how to get there.
Their remarkable communication skills were revealed by Austrian zoologist Karl von Frisch in 1946. He discovered that honeybees talk to each other in an unusual code - by “dancing”.
Honey Bees in hive with their Queen in the middle
A scout worker bee returns to the colony with information about a rich source of pollen and nectar. Entering the hive she is ‘checked’ by the guards, who ensure she has the right smell. Inside, she behaves in a strange way, running about attracting the attention of other workers until they gather around pummelling her with their antennae.
That’s where the dance begins: with a simple dance when the new food source is nearby and the vigour of the dance indicating the richness of food; a more complicated dance when the flowers are some distance away. The dance, known as the ‘waggle’ dance is repeated over and over again until enough recruits have received the message with the important part being the sequence of the ‘waggle’. The entire dance is accompanied by buzzing which is picked up by the legs and antennae of the other workers.
The life of bees is full of wonders and their dance language is one of the most fascinating behaviours found in nature.
Dear Reader - you are aware that there is a direct connection between the bees pollinating our crops and our ability to provide food for our families. We are losing the bees that live naturally in the wild. We depend on these insects for our food, but in an ecosystem where pollution and urbanisation are altering nature dramatically, bees are in major trouble. They need all the help they can get!
It is the author’s intention to share knowledge through educational information with this blog - so please re-share this story about these fascinating creatures.
Thank you...from us 🌳 and the bees 🐝.
A hive might look chaotic, but bees actually communicate through a series of vibrations and the 'waggle dance'. But what does it mean?
One more thing: You might even want to start your own honey bee colony? This is a great way to get started: Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees, 2nd Edition
"Honey Bee" - Wikipedia 2018 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee)
“Intelligence in Animals”, Reader’s Digest (1995) [viewed 07.08.2018]
"Karl von Frisch" - Wikipedia, 2018 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_von_Frisch)