Waggle dance is a term used in beekeeping and ethology for a particular figure-eight dance of the honey bee. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen, to water sources, or to new nest-site locations with other members of the colony.
The waggle dance and the round dance are two forms of dance behaviour that are part of a continuous transition. As the distance between the resource and the hive increases, the round dance transforms into variations of a transitional dance, which, when communicating resources at even greater distances, becomes the waggle dance. In the case of Apis mellifera ligustica, the round dance is performed until the resource is about 10 metres away from the hive, transitional dances are performed when the resource is at a distance of 20 to 30 metres away from the hive, and finally, when it is located at distances greater than 40 metres from the hive, the waggle dance is performed. However, even close to the nest, the round dance can contain elements of the waggle dance, such as a waggle portion. It has therefore been suggested that the term waggle dance is better for describing both the waggle dance and the round dance.
Austrian ethologist and Nobel laureate Karl von Frisch was one of the first who translated the meaning of the waggle dance.
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