Bees can be considered the most precious gift of nature because the pollination of plants majorly depends on these tiny creatures. When considering a colony of bees, they like to work as a team to collect nectar. Although it is a tiny creature they always try to achieve their food requirements in a small period of time. For this, it is very important to work as a team.

Advertisement

But when considering the flowers, different flowers have different amounts of pollen and nectar. Because of this reason bees have to search for better flowers that contain the best pollens and nectar. Although a bee found a place where the best pollen and nectar are, there’s difficulty communicating the place accurately to other bees.  This was a mystery for a long time.

A scientist named Karl von Frisch conducted some experiments to find what’s going on there. He could find that one bee dances in a special pattern while others watch and learn the pattern. When dancing, the dancing bee gives some nectar to others to smell and taste which helps other bees to find the correct flower patch. After researching furthermore he could find this dancing pattern help bees to find the correct direction of their food source. There are two different kinds of dancing patterns to communicate the correct location. They are

  1. Waggle Dance
  2. Circle Dance

Waggle Dance

The waggle dance is used to communicate two different pieces of information to the colony. They are

  • The distance to the food source
  • The direction of the food source

Advertisement

Distance

The dancing bee waggles its body while moving forward in a straight line. After completing the straight line it circles around to repeat the dance. The length of the straight line of the dance indicates the rough distance to the flower patch. Longer straight lines indicate longer distances while shorter straight lines indicate shorter distances.

bees waggle dance

Direction

Not only to indicate the location of the flower patch but the waggle dance is also used by bees to find up and down the beehive. For this, it performs the waggle dance at a specific angle with the sun. When flying to a flower patch, bees use this angle that is with the sun to find the correct direction.

Round Dance

The round dance is used to locate the nearby flower patches (< 100 m). In a round dance, the dancing bee doesn’t perform a waggle dance and there is no direction. In a round dance, the dancing bee moves in a circle and after completing the circle it moves the same circle in the opposite direction. This may repeat several times.

bees round dance

How bees find the best food resource?

Bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers. So they always try to collect the best products. When collecting foods a single bee performs two things. First, they specialize to collect one resource at a time: either nectar or pollen. This method helps bees to find the best food source. Secondly, the bee remembers which flower species is the best. The flower species can change over time. To find the correct flower patch, the dancing bee provides some part of nectar to other bees to smell and taste.

Advertisement

How bees see the world?

Bees have a different view of the world than humans. They are having difficulty identifying red colors from other colors.  However, they replace red color objects with blue, green, or purple. It has the ability to see colors which humans can’t see. It can see ultraviolet colors also. This ability helps them to identify the location of the nectar accurately.

Featured image by Leon Škrilec on Unsplash

Report Inappropriate content