The Modulation of Worker Activity by the Vibration Dance of the Honeybee, Apis mellifera


Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28223, U.S.A.


The influence of the vibration dance of the honeybee on the behaviour of non-foraging-age workers was examined. Compared to controls, vibrated non-foraging-age workers spent more time active during 15-min observation intervals. This increased activity resulted primarily from increased time spent in the tasks associated with brood cells and cell inspecting, although the time spent performing other tasks, such as those associated with food cells and cell capping, was also enhanced. The dance also increased the number of different tasks performed. The vibration dance may therefore play an important role in regulating the activity of non-foraging-age bees.