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Sep. 23, 2011

Blohm from Apimondia – Honey Bee Scouts Tell Time!

by Carl Flatow

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Today was quite intense, lots of choices. Symposiums I’ve gone to in the past were all given in English – here some are in Spanish with headsets for translation. I find listening to the translators a little difficult, so I’m just attending mostly the English ones. My Spanish is very limited.

I am always amazed at what honey bees are capable of. As you may know, bees have different jobs to do from the first day they emerge when they clean cells to when they are older and become foragers. Some of these foragers act as scouts, hunting for new sources of nectar and pollen and have to return to indicate where they found it. The scouts use the sun as a guidepost to tell other bees a certain direction. Now I learn that they can also tell time. Returning scouts who were caged for two hours or more were unable to communicate with their nest mates, but when they were released they communicated the information indicating that the sun was in another position.

I am running out now to hear the next speaker, more later.

Rich

About Carl Flatow

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