Monday, June 29, 2009

Mystery Solved

Solved in the sense that the bee activity has an official name, washboarding.
Named but no one knows why the bees do it.

Here is the response from Dave of the Backwards Beekeepers :

Found this on Michael Bush's site:

Why are they dancing at the entrance in unison?
A few times a year some new beekeeper wants to know what the bees are doing line dancing (rhythmically swaying) on the landing board. This is called "washboarding" and actually no one knows why they do it, but they do. Personally I think it's a social dance. Perhaps even a thanksgiving dance.

Beesource has this interesting thread on washboarding:

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230659&highlight=washboarding

Many theories but no definitive conclusions. Another mystery of the wonderous apis mellifera :).

So it was not moon walking. As an added note, i did not see the bees doing their usual daily orientation flights on the day of the dance and some were still dancing an hour later.
Thanks for the info Dave.

2 comments:

David S. said...

Your welcome Dennis. Thanks for sharing your experience w/ the honey bees. So many folks need enlightenment to help loose their fear of these marvelous creatures most so take for granted.

Heres a link to a very informative free book from 1853, "Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee - A Bee Keeper's Manual"

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24583/24583-h/24583-h.htm

Something surprising I learned from this book is the bees make their comb in the night as well. No rest for the weary,lol.

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