Communication of Direction by the Honey Bee

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Science  07 Aug 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3945, pp. 544-554
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3945.544


In the presence of controls for site- and path-specific odors, observer and food-source scents, Nasanov gland and alarm odors, visual cues, wind, and general site taxis, recruited bees were able to locate the food source indicated by the dances of returning foragers in preference to a food source located at an equal distance in the opposite direction. This was true even when foragers were simultaneously dancing to indicate two different stations. Recruitment in the absence of dancing was very low, while in the absence of foraging it was virtually zero. Thus, under the experimental conditions used, the directional information contained in the dance appears to have been communicated from forager to recruit and subsequently used by the recruit.