Honeybee Head-Butts Say More Than We Thought
New research shows honeybees not only warn nestmates about threats but also convey how deadly and how close those threats are.By Evan Thomas | March 25, 2016
Honeybees dance to guide their nestmates to food. This "waggle dance" conveys direction and distance to nectar — but sometimes it gets interrupted.
If foraging bees encounter predators at a food source, they return to the nest and head-butt their dancing nestmates with a vibrated warning so fewer foragers will wander into the same trouble.
Researchers have known about the behavior since 2006.