Bees can dance, and understand another bees language

waggle dance

waggle dance

First through conditioning, they taught the honeybees not to kill the Asiatic honeybees their cousins. This allowed them to mix in the same hive and produce a high bread colony composed of European honeybees, Apis mellifera, and the Asiatic honeybees, Apis cerana.

The researchers confirmed that the two species have their own dialects: foraging in identical environments, the bees signaled the distance to a food source with dances of different durations.
Remarkably, despite the communication barrier, A. cerana decoded A. mellifera’s dance and found the food.

The studies were detailed in the journals PLoS One and Animal Cognition.

Bees Can Count – Graciela Flores, Natural History Magazine September 26, 2008


Video clip of the waggle dance.


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