Title Image

GENSET 4 BEES: Extraordinary Team Communication – Bees and the “Waggle Dance”

GENSET 4 BEES: Extraordinary Team Communication – Bees and the “Waggle Dance”

In our ongoing effort to safeguard bees at Genset, which we pursue through our GenSet 4 Bees program and the presence of beehives on the premises, today we are delighted to share with you a fascinating overview of one of the most extraordinary aspects of the bee world: the “Waggle Dance.”

Bees, with their incredible collective intelligence, offer us a unique opportunity to learn important lessons about team communication. One of the most remarkable aspects of this bee world is the “Waggle Dance”. This behavior goes beyond a simple dance and reveals crucial details about the location of food sources.

What is the “Waggle Dance”?

When a bee discovers a food source, it returns to the hive and begins to perform a specific dance, known as the “Waggle Dance”. This dance is not a random performance, it is an intricate code of communication. Here’s how it works:

  1. Direction and Angle: During the dance, the bee performs a series of zigzag movements, but the actual direction to the food source is represented by the position of its body in relation to the vertical. Other bees can interpret the angle of the dance in relation to the position of the sun and accurately calculate the direction of the food source.
  2. Distance: The overall duration of the dance, or how many dance cycles are performed, indicates the distance from the food source. The longer the dance, the farther the food is located.
  3. Food Quality: The overall duration of the dance and the enthusiasm displayed by the bee during the dance can indicate the quality of the food. High-quality food is communicated with a more vigorous dance.
  4. Nature of the Resource: Communicated through the scent left on the explorer bee’s body and through samples of the substance it delivers to the following bees.

Here is an image illustrating how the Waggle Dance works:


An Interesting Curiosity

It is fascinating to note that young bees, following other dancers within the colonies, are able to perform more precise dances. This demonstrates how early social learning is essential for honeybees. This is a remarkable behavior that provides us with a new perspective on their team communication.

Insights from Nature

Examining the intelligent communication of bees, we cannot help but notice some similarities between them and us humans. The importance of early learning, clarity in communication, and effective collaboration are aspects we share with these amazing creatures.