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.