School of Life Sciences


Decode the Honey bee Waggle Dance 2019

Sunday 6 October 11:30 until 15:00
Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, University of Sussex
Speaker: LASI
Part of the series: Autumn Workshop

Workshop Date: Sunday 6th October 2019


Honey bees have sophisticated communication systems which they use to coordinate colony activities. The best known is the “waggle dance”. Foragers who have located profitable flower patches make waggle dances back in the hive. These communicate the direction and distance of the flower patch to nestmate bees who follow the dance. In 1973 Karl von Frisch received a Nobel Prize for discovering the waggle dance. The waggle dance is one of the few scientific discoveries awarded a Nobel Prize that can be seen with the naked eye. The honey bee is the only animal that “tells you where it has been”. This can be used in many ways by scientists. It can be used, for example, to investigate how flying insects measure distance. It can also be used to learn where honey bees are collecting food, and to study their foraging patterns and they vary with time.

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By: Karin Alton
Last updated: Monday, 8 April 2019