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Communication by “Head-butt”

May 6th, 2016

Communication by “Head-butt”

Like all animals bees must communicate with their own kind, but do they have to be so violent about it?  Researchers have observed that, along with other methods of communication, bees will gladly head-butt other bees if it means getting a point across.

Despite how primitive head-butting other humans to make a point may seem to us, in the bee community head-butting other bees is regarded by scientists as a rather sophisticated method of communication.  The head-butting that occurs between bees is often used as a signal indicating that a search for shelter and/or food has been found and all other bees can stop searching.

When bees collectively feel the need for shelter or nourishment they will indulge in a “waggle dance” until such food or shelter has been found. What is humorous about this head-butting method is that it used by bees to stop other bees from dancing when nourishment has been found.  I guess a bees version of clubbing on the weekends differs greatly from our own.

Have you ever seen any other strange insect behavior like this that you don’t understand?

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