We’ve made all our posts this month about bees – because honestly, there are so many cool things to learn about bees that we can’t see a reason not to!
One of the most amazing, we think, is the way bees use a special dance to communicate with one another about great places they’ve found to collect nectar and pollen. We haven’t yet figured out how bees do Yelp reviews, but the good people at Orkin have provided a great explainer for grown-ups here (it’s under “Honey Bee Facts: Distribution).
Here’s a way to explain it to your kids:
- Bees use special movements of their bodies to tell each other where they’ve found flowers with the nectar their families need to eat.
- If they have found a food source like flowers close to their hive, they move their bodies around in a circle. Scientists who study bees call this a “round dance.”
- If the food is further away, they do a “waggle dance.” The dance has this funny name because when they’re doing this dance, the bees “waggle” their tummies while they’re moving their whole body in a figure-eight pattern. The longer they do the dance, the further away their friends know the food source is.
- In fact, bees are so smart that they can even tell each other which direction to go looking for the food, by the way they line up their body when they are doing the waggle dance. What amazing insects!
August is the perfect time to get outside and do some waggle dancing of our own! If you’d like some help with choreography, there’s a fun children’s video you can share for ideas. No matter how you do it, it’ll be fun… and a great way to be active outdoors.