Waggle Dance Essay Research Paper Communication Among — страница 3

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whether the scout bee will dance the round dance or the waggle dance. They noticed that depending on the scenery, and the amount of flickering, the bees could be tricked into dancing the wrong dance. These findings fit in well with Frisch s hypothesis regarding the different dances being dependent on the distance. About fifteen years ago at the University of Wurzburg in Germany, Professors Michelsen and Kirchner began to try and prove whether the honeybees communicated through the actual dancing, or whether through the vibrations and noises that the dance caused. For their experiments they constructed robotic bees that were capable of imitating the waggle dance, as well as emitting the specific noises and vibrations. After observing the effects of the robotic bees on numerous bee

hives for five years, they observed, that if the robotic bee would just do the waggle dance without causing the vibrations, then the other worker bees would not leave to forage for the food. If the robotic bee only caused the vibrations and did not perform the waggle dance, then the worker bees would not forage for the food. However, if the robotic bee would perform the waggle dance as well as cause the vibrations, then the rest of the surrounding worker bees would leave and forage for the food. From these experiments, Michelsen and Kirchner concluded that the scout honeybees communicate with the other worker bees through a combination of actual dancing as well as through vibrations. Further experiments were done using the robotic bees in conjunction with Karl von Frisch s

experimental data , allowing scientists to accurately control which food source the worker bees would forage at. Although Karl von Frisch s theories on honeybee communication are widely accepted among the scientific community, there are many respected biologists and entomologists who do not agree with Frisch s theories. Many argue that although it appears that there is a direct connection between the scout bees dance and the recruitment of other worker bees to forage for food, there is not enough conclusive evidence that the dances contain as much information as Frisch ,and his successors, give credit for. It can be said, that the dances are just used in order to get the other worker bees attention, and the only communication is when the scout bee actually gives the other worker

bees a sample of the nectar. After receiving the nectar, the other worker bees leave the hive, and are able to locate the food source by following floral aromas. There are also many scientists who agree that honeybees do communicate through dance, but do not agree with Frisch s theory of the waggle dance. They believe that the honeybees communicate through different dances such as the DVAV dance and other vibration and spasmodic dances. Although it does appear that the honeybees may do these other dances as a form of communication, there is not enough experimental evidence to prove the significance of these other dances. In 1996, while conducting experiments with honeybees, a scientist named Tautz discovered that the location in the hive in which the waggle dance takes place

directly relates to the number of other worker bees recruited to forage for the food. In a bee hive there are two types of honeycomb, open empty honeycomb cells and full capped honeycomb cell. Tautz noticed that if the scout bee performed the waggle dance on an empty cell, three times as many worker bees would leave the hive to forage food in comparison to the dance being performed on a capped cell. He theorized that this occurred because the empty cell transmitted the vibrations of the waggle dance better then the capped cells. This theory helped prove Michelsen and Kirchner s experimental evidence that vibrations are an important part to honeybee communication. There are many different theories as to how worker honeybees communicate. The most respected and proven theory being

Karl von Frisch s waggle dance. Frisch s theory, along with later experimental evidence by Wenner, Esch, Burns, Michelsen, Kirchner, and Tautz, shows that the scout honeybees communicate and recruit other worker honeybees to forage for food through specific dances. The dances contain information on the direction, distance, and type of food, and are conveyed through both the actual dancing as well as through vibrations. Many factors, such as outside scenery and the location in the hive where the dance is performed, effect the accuracy and success in conveying the necessary information to the other worker bees. Although not all scientists agree with this theory, it is the only conclusive attempt to understand honeybee communication that has been proven through many different