As Busy as a Bee

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August 2, 2018 by jhoffdog

Have you ever wondered about bee’s social lives and how they communicate with each other? Honey bees and bumblebees are referred to as eusocial. This means that they have an advancedwaggle level of organization, with multiple bees caring for the offspring of just one bee, the Queen Bee. Eusociality is an extreme form of social behavior found in just a few types of animals. Along with the Queen Bee, there are also the workers and the drones, with all the workers being female and the drones being male.

To find flowers, honey bees use a variety of senses: smell, color, shape, location, the time of the day, etc. In order to tell each other where the best spot for flowers is, bees communicate with each other through movement like dances and vibrations. This dance is called the waggle dance. Through this dance, the bees explain the distance of the flowers from the hive and the position of the sun in relation to the flowers. Honey bees also perform two other dances to communicate with each other, known as the “shake dance” and the “tremble” dance. Odor cues called pheromones also send important information to members of the honey bee colony.

Citations

“Do Honey Bees Communicate?” Discover the Benefits of Honey, 1 Mar. 2015, healthywithhoney.com/do-honey-bees-communicate/

“Social Behavior, BeeSpotter, University of Illinois.” The Economic Importance of Bee$, BeeSpotter, University of Illinois, beespotter.org/topics/social/.

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