Young Honey Bees Learn to Dance by Watching Elders

Researchers have not only found that honey bees do a special waggle dance to indicate a food source but that young bees learn how to dance by watching older bees. This incredible behavior shows that these bees cooperate with one another while looking out for the entire hive.

Researchers demonstrated that younger bees learn critical parts of this dance from older, more experienced bees. Bees that learn without the benefit of teachers have errors in their dance, and while some of which can improve with practice, errors relating to distance encoding remain for their entire lives. Bees, like many other social animals, appear to benefit from social learning.

Honey Bees Learn to Dance From Elders
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.