How is it with all our human verbal skills we have so much less quality communication that the beloved honey bees? Learning about bees communication this week, I was struck by how great they are at communicating throughout the colony that may number from 20,000 to 60,000 individuals.
They take care of the colony, the queen, the environment and give selflessly to others. Their communication through out the colony is faultless. How many of us could say that about our small family units? The bees share with all the other workers about where to find the best nectar and pollen sources. They communicate that information through a bee dance that triangulates the exact location, even factoring in the movement of the sun. They also share a sample of the product they are so excited about. No selfishness here. In the pollen and nectar gathering they can mark the flowers as “used” so another bee does not have to waste their time. The bees even communicate with us in an auditory way. They emit a happy hum or if they have lost their queen they give off the “queenless roar” in discontent. These wonderful creatures have so much to teach us and I am blessed to be in their classroom.
Written by Christine Young
This project was funded by a grant from the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.