It might be surprising to know that even honey bees communicate. They convey information about the whereabouts of nectar or pollen to other worker bees by dancing their very own Honey Bee Dance.
These foragers communicate their floral findings to recruit other worker bees in their hive to the site. The recruiting of worker bees is based on evaluations of the quality and quantity of nectar or pollen brought in by the scout bee.
There are basically two theories that explain honey bees’ communication:
- Waggle Dance or Dance Language
- Odour Plume
Out of these two, the dance language theory is far more widely accepted and has far more empirical support.
The Dance Language Hypothesis
According to the waggle dance theory, all successfully foraging honey bees dance once they return to their hives. This dance is called the waggle dance. It indicates that the resources are far away and when they perform a shorter version of the waggle dance, called the round dance, it indicates that the food is nearby.
The number of runs and turns involved in the dance is correlated to the distance and direction of the resource. Also, the more vigorous display, the better the food.
Check out this video to see a Honey Bee waggle dance in action:
The Odour Plume Hypothesis
The odour plume theory argues that the honey bees dance is in no way related to the nectar source. It states that the main purpose behind the dance is to grab the attention of other bees in the honey bee hive and share the odour of the nectar, so they can follow the odour trail to the nectar source. Moreover, the odour plume theory claims that a small-scale dance can’t be precise enough to drive other bees to a source that could be kilometres away. None of these points are enough to invalidate the dance theory, but simply suggest that scent might be involved in addition to their dances.
When Does a Honey Bee Sting and How to Treat It
When away from the honey bee hive, foraging for nectar or pollen, honey bees can sting if stepped on or roughly handled. Honey bees can actively seek out and sting people when they perceive their hive to be threatened. You may be stung when honey bees are in search of nectar or pollen near your home. If there are good sources of nectar nearby, honey bee hive construction may occur.
If you’ve suffered from a honey bee sting, read about honey bee sting treatments.
How to Get Rid of Honey Bees
If you discover a honey bee hive in your yard, contact a professional pest control company to help you handle the problem. Honey bees can be dangerous, so they are best left to be treated by professional exterminators.