“Waggle Dancing” Bees: Scientists Decode More Than 1,500 Dance Moves – #WATWB

While searching for Good News to post for this month’s We Are The World Blogfest (#WATWB), I came across a posting by the Global Good News Service at:  https://globalgoodnews.com/science-news-a.html?art=15800208253382430.

According to The Global Good News Service:

“On 16 February 2020, Newsweek reported that “the meaning of more than 1,500 honey bee ‘waggle dances’ were … decoded by scientists.”

So what’s a ‘waggle dance?’

It’s a way the insects communicate information about the direction and distance of food sources. The sex of those waggling worker bees? Females, but they don’t have the same abilities as the queen. They’re born sterile, work for their entire lifespan, and eject the drones (male honey bees) that don’t mate with an unfertilized queen from the hive. By the way, males die after they mate with a queen in midair!

The girl bees appear to be masterful communicators. They fly in figure-eight patterns, waggling their bodies in the straight part of the pattern to communicate the direction of a flower patch. The length of these waggles contains information about how far away the flower patch is. To watch a video by the Smithsonian Institute, (the British narrator says such delightful things as, “The longer the waggle, the further the flower”) check out the video below.


For a fascinating look at these waggle dances and what they convey, here’s another YouTube video: 

And here’s a darling video about waggle dancing bees for kids to watch:

According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the results of the scientists’ work “shed light on the dietary preferences of bees and could have significant implications for conservation efforts.”

To read the entire article by Aristos Georgiou, click here.

We Are The World Blogfest - In Darkness, Be Light

At the end of each month, we bloggers are given an opportunity to post good news, offering an antidote to bad news in our feeds. The talented co-hosts for this month are: Sylvia McGrath, Peter Nena, Shilpa Garg, Belinda Witzenhausen, and Eric Lahti. Please check out the blogs and say hello.

Lizbeth Hartz is the author of the true crime, true love memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawaii, A True Story. Get it on Amazon or sign up to read the 1st chapter free.


  1. Debbie D. on February 29, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    That was absolutely fascinating! I had no idea that bees’ lives are so complex. Clever lot, aren’t they? 🙂 Thank you for the education.

    • Lizbeth Hartz on March 4, 2020 at 10:01 am

      Glad you liked it, Debbie. You’re welcome. And thanks for sharing your uplifting posts about help for the homeless.

  2. Hilary Melton-Butcher on March 1, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Hi Lizbeth – that’s Sir David Attenborough, revered broadcaster and natural world historian, who narrates the clip. I’d not looked at the ‘waggle’ dance before … but loved learning about it – how clever the natural world is … and aren’t we lucky in today’s age – we can see these things – cheers Hilary


    • Lizbeth Hartz on March 4, 2020 at 10:18 am

      Thanks for reading and telling me that’s Sir David! Yes indeed, so lucky. BTW, I’m trying to visit your site, Hilary, but my computer won’t let me…I’ll try again.

  3. Shilpa Garg on March 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    OMG! Bees are so amazing and advanced in communication. Loved this fascinating story, Lizbeth. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Lizbeth Hartz on March 4, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Thanks for reading and I’m so glad you liked it, Shilpa. I also loved yours about the school gardens; so inspiring.