Bees usually have to fly long distances and trace large areas to find food. They collect flower dust and honey constituent within a range of 800 m. from their hive. The bee which finds the flowers flies back to the hive to inform others about their place. But, how will this bee describe the place of the flowers to its friends in the hive? By dancing!… The bee returning to the hive starts to make some sort of a dance. This dance is a means of expression used to tell other bees the location of the flowers. This dance repeated many times by the bee, includes all the information about the inclination, direction, distance and other details of the food source that enable other bees to reach it.
This dance is actually an "8" figure constantly repeated by the bee (the above picture). The bee forms the middle part of the figure "8" by shaking its tail and making zig zags. The angle between the zig zags and the line between the sun and the hive, gives the exact direction of the food source (the below picture).
However, knowing only the direction of the food source is not enough. Worker bees should also "know" how far they have to travel to collect honey constituent So, the bee returning from the flower source, "tells" other bees the distance of the flower pollens by certain body movements. It does this by shaking the bottom part of its body and causing air currents. For example; in order to "describe" a distance of 250 m., it shakes the bottom part of its body 5 times in half a minute. This way, the exact place of the source is made clear with the details given about distance and angle.
If the journey from the hive to the food source takes a long time, then there is another problem facing the bee, who can only describe the food source according to the sun. In the bee’s journey back to the hive, the sun moves 1 degree every four minutes. Eventually, the bee will make an error of 1 degree about the direction of the food source it informs to its friends for each four minutes it spends on the way.
Certainly, the bee does not have any such problem! The bee's eye is formed of hundreds of tiny hexagonal lenses. Each lens focuses on a very narrow area just like a telescope. A bee looking towards the sun at a certain time of day can always find its location while it flies. The bee is estimated to be doing this calculation by making use of the change in the daylight given out by the sun depending on the time of the day. As a result, while flying in daylight, the bee determines the direction of the target by making corrections in the information on the direction of the food source which it is to give in the hive..
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