Dance of the Honeybees

This passage explains how honeybees use motion to communicate.

Lexile Level: 1140L

Categories: Animals & Nature


In the spring, honeybees move diligently from flower to flower, collecting nectar and returning to their hives. The nectar is turned into honey, which is a crucial food source in the winter months when flowers are not blooming. After a honeybee locates a good nectar source, it tells the other bees about the flowers by dancing for them. On the honeycomb surface the bee performs one of two special dances. The "round dance" is a circular motion that communicates that the nectar source is in a close radius of the hive itself. The other bees can then smell the signature scent of the flower from the dancer and fly circles around the hive until they find the flowers with that scent. The "wiggle dance" is more complex, looking like a figure-eight. This dance conveys that the nectar source is far from the hive in a specific direction. The other bees simply fly in that direction until they smell the flower scent from the dancer.


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