The importance of the spatial information which is communicated in the Camolian Race of the Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica (Pollmann 1879) waggle dance relative to other cues used by bees in finding food sources was investigated. The efficiency of recruitment with and without transmission of direction information in the waggle dance was quantified using artificial, plentiful unscented food sources and hives which were turned to a horizontal position to disrupt orientation of dancing bees and thereby eliminate the spatial information from dances. Transmission of location information seems to improve recruitment effect particularly at large distances. Recruitment declines more rapidly with distance if dances are disoriented, and for large distances it takes a few hours before a foraging group is established. However, this shows that even without dance information, foragers manage to recruit some bees to their food source. This process, however, is so slow that by the time a group of recruits has reached the food source, it may not be worth exploiting any more. Transmission of spatial information thus is especially important if distant food sources which often change in nectar availability are exploited.
- Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann 1879
- Waggle dance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science