Signals and flexibility in the dance communication of honeybees

  title={Signals and flexibility in the dance communication of honeybees},
  author={Axel Michelsen},
  journal={Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
  • A. Michelsen
  • Published 5 March 2003
  • Physics, Medicine
  • Journal of Comparative Physiology A
Progress in understanding dance communication in honeybees is reviewed. The behaviour of both dancers and follower bees contain flexible and stereotypic elements. The transfer of specific information about direction and distance probably involves more than one sensory modality. The follower bees need to stay behind the dancer (within the angle of wagging) during at least one waggle run in order to perceive the specific information. Within this zone, a small stationary air-flow receiver (like… 
Decoding information in the honeybee dance: revisiting the tactile hypothesis
It is concluded that tactile mechanosensory input from the antennae, presumably processed by neurons of the antennal joint hair sensilla and the neck hair plates, enables bees to estimate both the direction relative to gravity and the length of the waggle phase.
How Do Honey Bees Obtain Information About Direction by Following Dances
Several strategies (touch, vision, hearing, substrate vibrations, and air flows) have been proposed for how follower bees obtain information about the distance and direction announced in waggle
Dynamic Range Compression in the Honey Bee Auditory System toward Waggle Dance Sounds
The results suggest that the matured honey bee antennae and JO neurons are best tuned to detect 250–300 Hz sound generated during “waggle dance” from the distance in a dark hive, and that sufficient responses of the JO neuron are obtained by reducing the mechanical sensitivity of the flagellum in a near-field of dancer.
Direct Visual Observation of Wing Movements during the Honey Bee Waggle Dance
The results of this study support the assumption that moving wings are the source of airborne sounds emitted during honey bee dances.
The dance of the honeybee: how do honeybees dance to transfer food information effectively?
A honeybee informs her nestmates of the location of a flower she has visited by a unique behavior called a "waggle dance." On a vertical comb, the direction of the waggle run relative to gravity
Similarities in the behaviour of dance followers among honey bee species suggest a conserved mechanism of dance communication
The results indicate that all honey bee species rely on tactile contacts between the dancer and follower to communicate spatial information, and suggest that dance communication might be more conserved than implied by the differences in the signals produced by the dancer.
Interneurons in the Honeybee Primary Auditory Center Responding to Waggle Dance-Like Vibration Pulses
The results are critical for understanding how the honeybee deciphers information from the sound produced by the waggle dance and provide new insights regarding how common neural mechanisms are used by different species to achieve communication.
A Honey Bee’s Waggle Dance and its Importance to the Colony
Honeybees use the art of dancing to communicate the location, in direction and distance, of a food source to their nest mates. This discovery is the most sophisticated example of non-primate
Similarities in dance follower behaviour across honey bee species suggest a conserved mechanism of dance communication
The results suggest that all honey bee species rely on tactile contacts between the dancer and follower to communicate spatial information, and that the communication of spatial information might be more conserved than implied by the differences in the signals produced by the dancer.
Does an increase in reward affect the precision of the encoding of directional information in the honeybee waggle dance?
Results show that a sudden increase in reward may increase the directional scatter among consecutive waggle-runs, especially those performed at the beginning of the dance, and point out that the regulation of dance maneuvers depends on the dancer’s motivation to forage.


Honey bee dance communication: waggle run direction coded in antennal contacts?
Abstract The behaviour of 38 honeybee dance followers and the patterns of antennal contact between followers and dancer were monitored during ten waggle runs for a feeding site 1200 m from the hive.
How honeybees perceive communication dances, studied by means of a mechanical model
A mechanical model of a dancing honeybee was used to investigate the role of various components of the wagging dance in the transfer of information to follower bees, and the results indicate that the wagged run is the “master component” of the dance.
The waggle dance of the honey bee: Which bees following a dancer successfully acquire the information?
  • T. Judd
  • Biology
    Journal of Insect Behavior
  • 2005
The results of this study show that during a waggle run a dance follower must position itself within a 30° arc behind the dancer in order to obtain the dance information.
Attendants and followers of honey bee waggle dances
The behaviour of bees surrounding a dancing honey bee (Apis mellifera) was studied, using two colonies in observation hives in a shaded part of an apiary with two distinct behaviours: that of followers and that of attendants.
Sound and vibrational signals in the dance language of the honeybee, Apis mellifera
Sound and vibrational signals exchanged by honeybees during the performance of wagging dances were simultaneously recorded by means of a microphone and a laser vibrometer to support the assumption that the begging signals are generated with the flight muscles.
Phase reversal of vibratory signals in honeycomb may assist dancing honeybees to attract their audience.
It is proposed that effective signal amplification by the phase-reversal phenomenon occurs when bees straddle a cell across which the phase reversal is expressed and a bee would be subjected to a situation in which the legs were moving towards and away from one another instead of in the same direction.
Do honey bees encode distance information into the wing vibrations of the waggle dance?
Wing vibration frequency appears to be another factor to be added to the elements in the dance known to indicate the distance bees must fly to food sources, including the duration of the straight run and the number of wagtail movements in the run.
Sound production during the waggle dance of the honey bee
Abstract 1. 1. A pulsed sound of approximately 200 cps. which is produced during the straight run of the honey bee waggle dance is described. The presence of this sound provides a new possibility for
The acoustic near field of a dancing honeybee
SummaryThe acoustic near field close to honeybees performing the wagging dance was investigated with pairs of small, matched microphones placed in various positions around the dancing bees. The dance
Honeybee waggle dance: recruitment success depends on the dance floor
  • Tautz
  • Biology, Medicine
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1996
The results presented here reveal that the nature of the floor on which the bees dance has a considerable influence on the recruitment of nestmates to a food source.