Dances of Honey Bees
It was Father Spitzner in 1788 who for the first time described bee dances as method of communication among inmates of the hive about volume of honey flow and place of source of nectar. These observations remained unnoticed till Frisch (1920) published his observations. Karl von Frisch got noble prize in 1973 (under physiology & medicine, who shared it with two other animal behaviourists) on the basis of his work published in 1946.
Types of dances: In honey bees there is a well developed recruitment system to increase foraging efficiency. Some of the foraging force (5-35%) acts as scout bees/searcher bees. These bees may travel many kilometers. Average foraging radius of a colony is only few hundred metres in agricultural areas and about 2km in forested areas. Scouts communicate distance, direction and quality of flowers through different types of dances which in turn results in recruitment of other workers to forage on the best available sources.
The scout bees perform two types of dances
i) Round dance
ii) Wag-tail dance
Last modified: Friday, 20 July 2012, 6:46 AM