Honey Bees

Honeybee Dance Language

The honeybee dance language

A honeybee worker who has found a rich food source, when she returns to her colony, will perform a "dance" which contains information about the distance and direction to the food source.

A diagram of how direction in the field is represented in the dance in the hive



Articles pertaining to the dance language from the UCR bee lab. Those with links are available here in pdf format.


A general review article about the dance language

Visscher, P.K. 2003. Dance Language. Pp. 284-288 in V.H. Resh and R. T. Cardé, eds.Encyclopedia of Insects. Academic Press.


Technical articles about the dance language and its use by honeybees

Visscher, P. K. 2003. How self-organization evolves. Nature 421: 799-800.

T. D. Seeley and P. K. Visscher 2004. Group decision making in nest-site selection by honey bees.  Apidologie 35:101-116.

T. D. Seeley and P. K. Visscher 2004. Quorum sensing during nest-site selection by honey bee swarms.  Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 56:594-601.

T. D. Seeley and P. K. Visscher 2003. Choosing a home: how the scout bees in a honey bee swarm perceive the completion of their group decision making. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 54(5):511-520.

Sherman, G. and P. K. Visscher. 2002. Honey bee colonies achieve fitness through dancing. Nature 419: 920-922.

Visscher, P. K. and S. Camazine. 1999. Collective decisions and cognition in bees. Nature 397:400

S. Camazine, P.K.Visscher, J. Finley and R.S.Vetter. 1999. House-hunting by honey bee swarms: collective decisions and individual behaviors. Insectes Sociaux 46:348-360.

Visscher, P.K. & T.D. Seeley. 1982. Foraging strategy of honeybee colonies in a temperate deciduous forest. Ecology 63:1790-1801







Let us help you with your search