Cover: The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees, from Harvard University PressCover: The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees in E-DITION

The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674418776

Publication Date: 01/01/1967

566 pages

187 halftones, 267 line illustrations, 45 tables

Belknap Press


Available from De Gruyter »

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

  • Foreword to the Paperback Edition, by Thomas D. Seeley
  • An Appreciation of Karl von Frisch, by Martin Lindauer
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • One: The Dance of Bees
    • I. History
    • II. Methods in General
        • 1. The observation hive
        • 2. Heatable observation hives
        • 3. Rooms for bees
        • 4. Marking the bees with numbers
        • 5. We set up an artificial feeding place
        • 6. Automatic recording of visits to the observation place
        • 7. Cleaning the equipment: scents as sources of error
        • 8. How bees are put to work or brought home
        • 9. Measurement of the tempo and direction of dancing
        • 10. Selection of the bees
    • III. The Round Dance as a Means of Communication when Nectar Sources Are Nearby
      • A. The objective is known to the bees informed
        • 1. The scouts
        • 2. The round dance
        • 3. Contact without dancing can also be effective with other members of the same group
        • 4. Diffuse information given when bees are fed at sugar-water dishes
        • 5. Distinct information given when bees feed at flowers
        • 6. Odors as a means of communication
        • 7. The pollen collectors
        • 8. The dance floor
        • 9. Grouping according to odor
        • Summary
      • B. The objective is not known to the bees informed
        • 10. Recruitment of additional helpers
        • 11. New forces are aroused only when needed
        • 12. How do the recruits find their objective?
        • 13. The odor of the food sources as a guide to the newcomers
        • 14. Experiments with flowers
        • 15. The adhesiveness of odors to the bee’s body
        • 16. Absence of communication about colors and shapes
        • 17. The role of the scent organ
        • Summary
    • IV. The Tail-Wagging Dance as a Means of Communication when Food Sources Are Distant
        • 1. Description of the tail-wagging dance
        • 2. The transition from the round dance to the tail-wagging dance
        • 3. Comparison of nectar and pollen collectors
        • Summary
      • A. The indication of distance
        • 4. The tempo of the dance
        • 5. The influence of internal factors on the dance tempo
        • 6. The influence of external factors on the tempo of dancing
          • a. Temperature
          • b. The wind
          • c. Gradient of the flight path
          • d. Pharmaceutical agents
        • 7. How accurately can newcomers follow the distance indications? Stepwise experiments (Studenversuche)
        • 8. What part of the tail-wagging dance is the signal that defines the distance?
          • a. The components of the tail-wagging dance and their correlation with distance
          • b. Experiments to vary components of the dance independently
          • c. Comparison of the precision of searching and the accuracy of distance indication
        • 9. How does the dancer gauge the distance?
          • a. Bees do not signal the absolute distance to the goal
          • b. The indication of distance is not based on the duration of the flight
          • c. The expenditure of energy as a measure of the distance
        • 10. The significance of the outward and the homeward flight in the indication of distance
        • 11. The shape of the curve for distance
        • Summary
      • B. The indication of direction
        • 12. First hints of the mode of indicating the direction of the goal
        • 13. The indication of direction on a horizontal surface
        • 14. The indication of direction on the surface of a vertical comb
        • 15. Dances on an oblique comb surface
        • 16. Individual differences in the indication of direction, and the influence of age
        • 17. Comparison of the effects of round dances and tail-wagging dances
        • 18. How precisely is the indication of direction followed by the newcomers? Experiments in a fan-shaped pattern
        • 19. Dances when the sun is in the zenith
        • 20. No indication of direction upward or downward
        • 21. The significance of the outbound and homebound flights for the indication of direction
        • 22. Detour experiments
          • a. First observations and preliminary experiments
          • b. Experiments on the Schafberg
          • c. Experiments with Italian and Indian bees
          • d. The biological aspect
          • e. Detour experiments with bees on foot
        • 23. The indication of direction in a crosswind
        • 24. “Misdirection”
          • a. Light-dependent “misdirection”
          • b. “Misdirection” due to the force of gravity (“residual misdirection”)
        • 25. The role of the scent organ and floral odors with distant sources of food
        • 26. We look for a feeding station from directions supplied by the bees
        • Summary
    • V. Dependence of the Dances on the Profitability of Foraging Activity
        • 1. Factors determining the release and liveliness of the dances
          • a. The sweetness of the sugar solution
          • b. The purity of the sweet taste
          • c. Ease of obtaining the solution
          • d. Viscosity
          • e. Load
          • f. Nearness of the food source
          • g. Floral fragrance
          • h. Form of the food container
          • i. Uniform flow from the source of food
          • j. General status of nourishment in the colony
          • k. Improvement of the food
          • l. Time of day
          • m. Weather
        • 2. Regulation of supply and demand on the flower market
        • 3. The clocks of bees and of flowers
        • Summary
    • VI. Guidance by Scent
        • 1. Historical aspects
        • 2. Methods
        • 3. Results
        • 4. Verification—but no useful application
        • Summary
    • VII. Application of the Dances to Other Objectives
        • 1. Water
        • 2. Bee glue (propolis)
        • 3. Dwellings
        • Summary
    • VIII. Other Dance Forms
        • 1. Jostling run, spasmodic dance, and sickle dance
        • 2. The buzzing run
        • 3. Grooming dance (shaking dance)
        • 4. Jerking dance (D-VAV)
        • 5. Trembling dance
        • Summary
    • IX. Danceless Communication by Means of Sounds and Scents
        • 1. Sounds
        • 2. Odors
        • Summary
    • X. Variants of the “Language of the Bees”
        • 1. Racial differences (“dialects”)
        • 2. Differences among species: the Indian bees
        • 3. From primitive to successful messenger service with the stingless bees (Meliponini)
        • 4. A brief glance at other social insects
        • Summary
    • XI. Phylogeny and Symbolism of the “Language of the Bees”
        • Summary
  • Two: The Orientation of Bees on the Way to the Goal
    • XII. Orientation on Long-Distance Flights
      • A. Landmarks
      • B. The sun as a compass
        • 1. Displacement experiments
        • 2. Competition between the celestial compass and landmarks
        • 3. The contribution of the time sense to orientation, and knowledge of the sun’s course
        • 4. Perception of the sun through a cloud cover
        • Summary
      • C. Orientation by polarized light
        • 5. The polarized light of the sky
        • 6. Demonstration of orientation by polarized light
        • 7. The connection between the polarization pattern and the position of the sun. Experiments in the shadow of a mountain
        • 8. The use of artificial polarization patterns when the sky is cloud covered
        • 9. The relative significance of the sun and polarization of the sky
        • 10. What color range is effective in the perception of polarization?
        • 11. What degree of polarization is needed for orientation?
        • 12. On the function of the bees’ ocelli
        • 13. Spontaneous orientation relative to the plane of vibration of polarized light
        • 14. Is perception of polarization direct or indirect?
          • a. Partial climination of the eyes
          • b. Alteration of the reflected pattern
          • c. Indirect and direct orientation in other animals
        • 15. The analyzer for polarized light
          • a. Is the analyzer in the dioptric system?
          • b. The radical analyzer in the insects’ ommatidia
        • 16. Structure of the visual rods and perception of polarized light in other groups of animals
        • Summary
      • D. A glance at other animals
        • 17. Orientation to the plane of vibration of polarized light
        • 18. The celestial compass
          • a. Arthropods
          • b. Vertebrates
        • 19. Orientation to a magnetic field
        • Summary
    • XIII. Orientation when Near the Goal
      • A. The orientation flights
      • B. Optical orientation nearby
        • 1. The bees’ color sense
        • 2. Form vision
        • 3. Vision in bees and the appearance of flowers
      • C. Orientation nearby by means of the sense of smell and taste
        • 4. Olfactory discrimination in bees
        • 5. The location of the sense of smell
        • 6. The capacity to localize by smelling
        • 7. The bees’ olfactory acuity
        • 8. The biological significance of floral odor
        • 9. The sense of taste
        • Summary
  • Retrospect
  • References
  • Index

Awards & Accolades

  • Karl von Frisch Is Co-Winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Share This

Political Disappointment: A Cultural History from Reconstruction to the AIDS Crisis, by Sara Marcus, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, by Peter Wilson, from Harvard University Press

A Lesson in German Military History with Peter Wilson

In his landmark book Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, acclaimed historian Peter H. Wilson offers a masterful reappraisal of German militarism and warfighting over the last five centuries, leading to the rise of Prussia and the world wars. Below, Wilson answers our questions about this complex history,