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Author Topic: Waggle dance of a bee: explained.  (Read 6896 times)

Offline Nock

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Re: Waggle dance of a bee: explained.
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2019, 11:38:03 pm »
I seen this today. I was watching a new bee emerging. She came out and another came by and started the dance. Amazing sight.

Offline Duane

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Re: Waggle dance of a bee: explained.
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2020, 11:15:37 am »
Quote
If the waggle dance forms a line straight in the middle of the frame say to the right then that means exit the hive and fly to the right 90 degrees to the sun or east of the hive.
I'm having trouble understanding why that wouldn't be to the "west".  Or that it would be unable to determine from the information given. 

Assuming northern hemisphere, at midday, in March, the sun is to the south, to the right would be west.
If it was morning, right be south/southwest?  And evening would be north/northeast?

Offline little john

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Re: Waggle dance of a bee: explained.
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2020, 08:47:09 am »
Quote
If the waggle dance forms a line straight in the middle of the frame say to the right then that means exit the hive and fly to the right 90 degrees to the sun or east of the hive.
I'm having trouble understanding why that wouldn't be to the "west".  Or that it would be unable to determine from the information given. 

Assuming northern hemisphere, at midday, in March, the sun is to the south, to the right would be west.
If it was morning, right be south/southwest?  And evening would be north/northeast?

I really wouldn't worry too much about such details - for there's a LOT more to this than meets the eye.
BTW Van - nice link - and a subject well-worth a 'sticky'.  :smile:

I remember watching a video some time ago in which a professor here in England was boasting to his students that "we know" how bees navigate - and he gave the Waggle Dance as an example.  Well, I fell about laughing at such an arrogant assertion. Sure - the Waggle Dance tells us 'something' - but what ?

There's no denying that direction and distance are somehow being communicated - but how ?  The Waggle Dance gives us only a glimpse of this - as we have determined this info from our 'Bird's-Eye' view of bees in action. Bees don't have the ability to view the Dance like that of course, for they are down there 'on the crowded dance-floor' ...

Imagine you were dancing away at a crowded discotheque, shoulder-to-shoulder with other dancers, each person jostling against others. A short distance away is someone who is trying to communicate something to other people by their animated movements. Is it realistic that you would be able to detect any of the 'message', amongst that jostling crowd ?  Let's be even more realistic - and conduct this exercise in the pitch dark. There's no obvious way that navigational information is being communicated by visual means alone - that is, as we humans are seeing it.

Back to that professor (who had probably better remain nameless).  Even when bees somehow communicate the distance and direction to their target, the mystery of their navigational ability doesn't end there ...

... because direction is referenced to the sun, which continues to move across the heavens, and so the bee must somehow compensate for this moving reference. Distance too poses a problem, for the bee is unable to measure distance - all it can estimate is flight time.

And finally we come to a real puzzle. Anyone who has studied navigation within the air or at sea, knows only too well the problem of cross-track error (XTE).
For anyone not conversant with this - imagine a gentle breeze of (say) 6 knots blowing directly across the path a bee is to follow towards it's target destination. If the bees' flight time is 10 minutes, then if no adjustment is made, then the bee will end-up one mile downwind of it's target. A flight time of 5 minutes, then half-a mile. This error distance will be repeated on the return journey.

And yet the bee - who can return to it's hive with an accuracy of less that an inch - can somehow compensate for all of these navigational challenges: initial communication of target coordinates; a moving reference; the measurement of distance travelled, and appropriate compensation for whatever cross-winds may occur - even if the strength of a cross-wind may change during flight. And all this with extremely poor eyesight when compared to our own.

The honeybee possesses an incredible ability to navigate within a world we do not yet understand. The Waggle Dance gives us but a small and tantalising glimpse into that world.
'best,
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Waggle dance of a bee: explained.
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2020, 02:55:25 pm »
LJ,
Since we know that bees can see a solar grid, it seems likely that the information passed is not distance or travel time but solar lines crossed and angle to the pattern?
After reading your logic this seems very possible.
Jim Altmiller