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What’s the Waggle Dance? Ask a
June 5, 2014
Meemic Insurance Agent Bob Stowe is a retired biology teacher and shares his science background with Facebook readers as a member of Meemic’s “Ask a Meemic Educator” program. Find out from Bob how honey bees communicate the location of food sources to the hive through the waggle dance.
“The waggle dance is one mechanism that honey bees use to communicate with each other about the quality, quantity and location of a food source. This method of communication in honey bees has been studied for many years with some controversy as to the effectiveness in all locations and in various species. In general, many entomologists believe that the direction and duration of waggle runs are correlated with the direction and distance from the food source. Ongoing research suggests that some species of bees continue to go back to a food source to forage after they have already been at this source. Some researchers believe that other senses such as smell and electrical charges, as well as different angles of light from the sun from the food source, all play a role in this communication.”
Bob also recommends an article on the waggle dance and bee communication in Wikipedia.
Find out more about the waggle dance with a video from Nova.