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Experientia. 1994 Apr 15;50(4):406-13.

[The "language" of bees and its utilization in agriculture. 1946].

[Article in German]

Abstract

If honey-bees find a feeding place, after return they report the discovery by dancing. The species of flowers from which they are coming is indicated by means of the flower-scent adhering to their bodies, and also by the scent of nectar brought into the hive within the honey-stomach. By a long flight the scent adhering to the outer surface is diminished. But the scent within the honey-stomach is still the same. Therefore the scent of nectar (that is the specific flower-scent absorbed by nectar) is especially important if the feeding place is far away from the hive. Bees dance only in case there is plenty of food. Then the informed bees fly out and look for the flowers having the scent indicated by the dancing bees. In this way the number of visiting bees increases, and the nectar becomes scarce. Then honey collecting is still continued, but there is no more dancing in the bee-hive and the number of bees does not increase, so that there always is the correct relation between the amount of nectar and the number of collecting bees. If the feeding place is at a distance of some hundred meters there are many bees seeking for food at that distance but only a few seeking near the hive. By using an observation-hive the matter could be cleared up. Bees collecting at a feeding place nearer than 50 to 100 m make round-dances (Fig. 4, p. 400). Bees coming from a feeding place more distant make tail-wagging dances (Fig. 5, p. 400).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

PMID:
8174688
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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