Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

New theory of communication in bees

Contributed by: individual researcher

Having analyzed the mass of scientific articles, and the records of our experiments, I came to a conclusion that there are two problems with understanding of vibro-acoustic signals of bees. The first problem is correct understanding of their structure, and in understanding how the bees use them. Solving this problem, I had to formulate my own theory of vibro-acoustic signaling, and communication in bees. It looks something like this:
New theory of communication in bees
The life of bees, as well as the life of other living organisms on Earth, goes in accordance with the programs, installed in them by their Creator. The main task of bees is pollination of plants, therefore everything in their life is subordinated to this most important work on Earth. Reward for their work is nectar, which gives them "high-octane fuel" for their "motors" - honey! To accomplish this work, bees are given some variability of their program, in other cases - it is simple and strict, and does not allow deviations and variations. These cases are the task of maintaining life, and continuation of the genus. And all these works, except the first, practically do not require communication, as in our understanding of this word. Bees know everything they need to do. The main factor in their program is their age. It is the age that "switches" the program blocks with a set of works which the bee can perform. All the rest is given to the will of the case, which averaging the random activity of thousands of bees, makes it quite appropriate, and useful. Scientists claim that bees move freely along the hive. They are not tied to one place or to one job. They do any work that they meet on their way, and I will add - in accordance with the time-related block of their internal program. But how does the bee understand the who and what regarding work, and if her help is needed? In this case, according to our opinion, the simplest working interaction or communication takes place .

In their life, bees use communicative signals of several types - tactile, pheromone, vibro-acoustic.

Tactile contacts usually meet the personal interests of the individual. This is getting food, water, perhaps minimal care. There are tactile contacts in the process of movement of the bees on the frames, sometimes, during the process of control of access in the beehive.

Worker bees use pheromone signals outside the hive to "mark" the way to a rich source of nectar, and to create a pheromone "beacon", if they think that the queen could lose the way to the hive, after her marriage flight. Inside the hive, it is almost impossible to use pheromones, because of the difficulties in their spreading and removing.

The working interactions in the hive, apparently, are built on the basis of vibro-acoustic signals, and also on the basis of the vision of bees. In our theory, we divided vibro-acoustic signals of bees into three groups: Communicational signals, marker signals, and vibro-acoustic signals of ventilation.

The task of communicational signals is to draw attention to the individual that emits them. As a rule, these signals are sufficiently long (by the standards of insect signals) and last about a second, or even more. These signals can be repeated many times, and are used by all bees, including queens, before emitting marker signals, as we call them. These signals do not carry any information in themselves, are emitted at frequencies best of all "heard" by Johnston's organ of the bee, and serve solely to attract the attention of other bees to the one that emits them.

The task of marker signals is to inform others about the work or state of the bee that emits them. This is like a "flag" on the object in a computer game. The bee, being included in the work of some kind, begins to emit a signal of a certain type, telling others about what she is doing. Some of these signals are emitted by foragers, during wagging dances, others are emitted by foragers during unloading of nectar.

The essence of vibro-acoustic ventilation signals is not very clear. Presumably they contain both the activity marker signal and the sound of wings. We consider these signals to be one of the most important for us because, as we consider, for each activity there exists a corresponding type of "breathing".

Our device analyzes all the range of vibro-acoustic signals, known to scientists today, and generates diagnostic messages about the general state of bees.



    individual researcher

Related information


  • Germany, Spain, United States


beekeeping, bee, apicultura
Folgen Sie uns auf: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Verwaltet vom Amt für Veröffentlichungen der EU Nach oben