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A strong colony of honeybees works together buzzing and whirring. During summer, a productive hive will have 50,000 or more members, only then a colony is considered fully mature. Every bee in the hive is assigned with a job. Every little yellow bud strives hard foraging and collecting nectar, feeding the young larvae, producing honey and ensure the colony is enriched with food for surviving a week or more. The key factor behind this successful and efficient work is healthy communication.
Generally, bees communicate with each other by two means one by chemical means producing scents called pheromones and other is by choreographic signs. Mutual communication amount bees are essential to complete tasks and protect the hive from threats.there are different fascinating ways by which these bees communicate with each other.
Here are interesting facts that a bees enthusiast must be aware of
1. Bees ”speak” in full darkness - In the dark chambers of the hive, bees do not expect darkness to communicate with themselves. Rather they use pheromones, sounds, touch and taste to talk.
2. Food and forage is an important topic to communicate - It is mandatory to communicate for food within the hive. Hungry honeybees stop the other foraging bees and ask for food. They will get food if it is available in the hive. Food travels faster than anything within the hive. So any toxic content like chemicals, pesticides which contaminates the food will take just 48 hrs to travel through the hive.
3. Communication by means of pheromones - Queen honeybee uses its pheromones to communicate with other bees that work for her needs and care for her. The queen sends these pheromones through the sense of touch in a rippling effect. Queen uses this pheromone outside the hive to attract males for mating. The Queen has full control over the drone population in the hive. If the when is about to perish or going to be replaced the information will travel within 48 hrs through the entire hive.
4. The olfactory method - Honeybees are found to have a great sense of smell which is far high when compared to fruit flies or mosquitoes. They are usually attracted by sweet smells and go foraging for Hector in flower. With this sense of smell, it is able to smell the pheromones produced by other bees and also the Queen.
5. Dance movements speak a lot - Foraging honeybees return to the hive and communicate with a series of wagging dances to communicate the distance and location where they could get the best forage materials. They also share nectar with the new foragers and provide them with additional information before they start their foraging journey.
6. Finding a new home site is a group task - Honeybees not only use this wagging dance movement to communicate the location of nectar source but also to select a new home site. When the bees shape a new crowd from the hive. This swarm selects scout bees to go in search of a new home site. These scout bees after searching thoroughly with come back and communicate the new home site with the others in the for of wagging dance. The other bees vote the suggestion and the new hive site is selected and take off as a group to the home site.
It took decades for the researcher to come out with these fascinating ways honey bees communicate. In a colony of more than ten thousand bees, they easily manage to transfer food or exchange communication within the hive. They make a great decision that the whole hive is involved and support each other fellow bees. There is ample to learn from these little yellow and black buds.