Have you ever had to give your friend directions? Ever tried to do it without an address, map or gps? Now imagine not only would you not be able to use any of those but instead you had to give them directions through dancing…well that’s what bees do on a daily basis.
The waggle dance is a part of a bee’s GPS
Now you might not have ever thought that dancing could be an effective form of communication, let alone effective way to give directions, but bees have figured it out. First off, bees have a unique form of internal clock where they can always tell what time it is and adjust their sense of direction based on the location of the sun.
The waggle dance is a form of informing other bees in the hive of where food is located and what direction and distance the other bees will need to go in order to find these food sources. Interestingly enough bees will dance this waggle dance at an angle on the comb they land on that directly corresponds to whatever angle the food source is away from the sun.
How long they dance will determine how far the bees will have to fly in order to reach the destination of the food source. It’s also interesting to note that with their sophisticated internal clock, these bees can adjust the direction and angle they should fly in based on where the sun is at in the sky.
For an even more in-depth explanation check out these videos below for some live waggle dance action!
Why Bees finding their food source is so important to humans
When bees find and gather food they do it from various flowers from all kinds of plants. When they do this, not only are they getting food, but they are also transferring pollen and pollinating other plants.
This causes the plants to bear fruit and multiply. Bee’s pollinate close to 80% of all food crops in the US alone. That means without bees, growing almost all of the food we do in the US wouldn’t be possible.
Not only that, bees also create honey, which is the only food source that insects create that humans eat (although I hear that cockroach milk is poised for a nice launch). There are several health benefits from honey as well. A few of them are as follows.
- Maintains glycogen levels
- Improves recovery from athletic performance
- Helps alleviate coughs and sore throats
- Helps regulate blood sugar
- And more…
With bee’s being a crucial component to creating and maintaining our food sources, as well as even giving us a super-food like honey, it’s important to keep bees around and protect their habitats around the world.
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