The Waggle Dance

Did you know that the Honeybee communicated to other honeybees by dancing?

You may find that fact a little BEEZAR but it’s a real thing and It’s called the Waggle dance.

The honeybee or waggle dance is a form of communication performed by worker honeybees to other members of the honeybee colony.

It was discovered in 1973 by Karl von Frisch. Karl was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on the honeybee waggle dance. He recognised how this dance, allowed Honeybees to share information on the location of food sources and safe habitats with other bees from their hive. 

Research suggests individual honeybees may also perform a dance when they wish to be cleaned (groomed) by other bees.

How do bees do the Waggle Dance?

1. First the Bee dancer walks straight ahead, waggling her body from side to side

2. She then stops and turns left or right to make a semi-circular back to her original starting point.

3. When she gets back to her start point, she performs another waggle dance followed by another return to start, and so on.

4. The duration of the waggle run is about the same length of the outward journey. On average, one second of the total dance represents some 1km of flight.

5. If the bee Dancer goes directly upward while doing the waggle dance she is telling the other colony members to head toward the sun to get the food.

6. If the bee dancer heads 60 degrees to the right of vertical, her message to other colony members is that the site is 60 degrees to the right of the sun. 7. The clever honeybee can even take into account the amount of wind! A strong headwind will cause the bee to dance as if the food was further away, thus indicating that more energy will be expended to reach this source of food.

For simple steps to do the waggle look at our easy video and step by step guide.

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