Dance precision of Apis florea—clues to the evolution of the honeybee dance language?

  title={Dance precision of Apis florea—clues to the evolution of the honeybee dance language?},
  author={Madeleine Beekman and Rosalyn S Gloag and Na{\"i}la Even and Wandee Wattanachaiyingchareon and Benjamin P. Oldroyd},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
All honeybee species make use of the waggle dance to communicate the direction and distance to both food sources and potential new nest sites. When foraging, all species face an identical problem: conveying information about profitable floral patches. However, profound differences in nesting biology (some nest in cavities while others nest in the open, often on a branch or a cliff face) may mean that species have different requirements when dancing to advertise new nest sites. In cavity nesting… 

Why, when and where did honey bee dance communication evolve?

Recent theoretical and empirical research into the ecological circumstances that make dance communication beneficial in present day environments suggest that the “dance language” is most beneficial when food sources differ greatly in quality and are hard to find.

The honeybee waggle dance: can we follow the steps?

The Dance Language

Because bees fly along a changing environment, the distance measured will affect the shape of the dance curve; it is not possible to use any standardised calibration curve for the interpretation of dances even for the same colony.

Honeybee dance language: is it overrated?

Biology of Thai honeybees: Natural history and threats

This chapter covers how honeybees reproduce, variation in caste development among Thai species, and how sex determines the division of labor in these populations, and the role of parasites, predators and pathogens on the ecology of Thai honeybees.

Adaptation or constraint? Reference-dependent scatter in honey bee dances

It is shown that this scatter in honey bee dances is strongly dependent on the sensory modality used to determine a reference angle in the dance, undermining the idea that scatter is introduced into dances, which the bees could perform more precisely, in order to spread recruits out over resource patches.

Conservation of Asian honey bees

Long-term decline in honey bee populations may lead to significant changes in the pollinator ecology of these forests, exacerbating the more direct effects of deforestation and wood harvesting on forest health.

Network-based diffusion analysis reveals context-specific dominance of dance communication in foraging honeybees

It is shown that virtually all successful recruits to novel locations rely upon dance information rather than olfactory cues that could otherwise guide them to the same resource while during reactivation to known sites, dances are relatively less important.

Dancing Bees Improve Colony Foraging Success as Long-Term Benefits Outweigh Short-Term Costs

The results suggest that the benefits of waggle dance communication are currently underestimated and that different experimental designs are needed to measure empirically how spatial information affects colony foraging success.



Increase in dance imprecision with decreasing foraging distance in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. is partly explained by physical constraints

It is shown that bees indeed increase their dance precision with the increase in foraging distance, but it is also shown that dances performed by swarm-scouts for a nearby nest site, where there could be no benefit to imprecision, are either without or with only limited directional information.

Imprecision in waggle dances of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) for nearby food sources: error or adaptation?

Evidence supports the hypothesis that the level of precision in the direction indication for nearby food sources is tuned to its optimum without being at its maximum.

Foraging in honeybees—when does it pay to dance?

The main benefit of the honeybee's dance communication seems to be that it enables the colony to forage at the most profitable patches only, ignoring forage patches that are of low quality.

Observations on the Dance Communication and Natural Foraging Ranges of Apis Cerana, Apis Dorsata and Apis Florea in Sri Lanka

The dance communication of Asiatic honeybees is qualitatively similar to that of Apis mellifera, however, in A. cerana and A. florea foraging at artificial feeders the dance tempo was observed to decline more rapidly than has been reported for A. mellifiera as distance to the food source increased.

Do honey bees tune error in their dances in nectar-foraging and house-hunting?

Findings suggest that the angular variance in direction indication in dances is more likely an artifact of physical constraints, rather than an adaptive modification of a behavior that a bee could perform more precisely.

On the Evolution of the Dance Language

G Gould and Towne (1987) offered a variety of novel speculations on the evolutionary origin and modification of the "waggle dance," which indicates the direction and distance of food.

Dance dialects and foraging range in three Asian honey bee species

The hypothesis that a colony's dialect is adaptively “tuned” to enhance efficiency of communication over the distances that its foragers typically fly is examined, but there are no striking dialect differences among the Asian bees in Thailand.

The spatial precision of the honey bees' dance communication

Evidence is presented that the spatial precision of the honey bees' dance communication has been “tuned” by selection so that recruits are neither so accurate that they usually find areas which have already been depleted nor so inaccurate that theyUsually fail to find the advertised resources altogether.

Mechanisms of dance orientation in the Asian honey beeApis florea L.

  • F. Dyer
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2005
It is reported that dances in Apis florea can be oriented directly to landmarks visible from the nest, the first evidence of an environmental feature other than celestial cues or gravity being involved in dance orientation.

Long-range foraging by the honey-bee, Apis mellifera L.

Waggle dances of honey-bees were decoded to determine where and how far the bees foraged during the blooming of heather in August 1996 using a hive located in Sheffield, UK, east of the heather moors.