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Title: Azimuth-dependent waggle dances, flight and foraging activities of the red dwarf honeybee, Apis florea Fabricius (1787)
Authors: Orawan Duangphakdeeb
Preecha Rod-ima
Sarah Radloffc
Christian W W Pirkd
Colleen Hepburne
Randall Hepburne
อรวรรณ ดวงภักดี
Keywords: honey bee
Apis florea
waggle dance
altitude angle
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Waggle dances are a fundamental form of communication in honeybees. The patterns of a waggle dance contain both distance and directional information. Nevertheless, the dance varies depending on the context in which it is performed; absconding, swarming, or foraging. This study is an extension of the study by Duangphakdee, Radloff, Pirk, and Hepburn (2009), who investigated whether the sun’s azimuth (altitude angle of the sun) affected Apis florea F. absconding waggle dances and what effect this had on colony decision-making and behavior. In this study, we add flight and foraging activities to the absconding data from Duangphakdee, Radloff, Pirk, and Hepburn (2009) and tested what effects, if any, the altitude angle had on other behavior and activities both at colony and individual levels. We report the number of waggle dances performed per unit time by A. florea foragers from 07:00 to 17:00 h. The mean frequency distribution of the number of foragers dancing showed a clear-cut trough between 12:00 and 13:00 h. The angular deviation in the run portion of the waggle dances increased significantly by 7° between 12:00 and 13:00 h relative to dance angles recorded prior to or post the noon period. We suggest that the imprecision of forager waggle dances, for an hour around noon, is caused by the honeybees' difficulty in determining the location of the sun’s azimuth, as was shown by Duangphakdee, Radloff, Pirk, and Hepburn (2009) in A. florea scout dances over the noon period. Colony-based decision-making relies heavily upon the precision of waggle dances, especially when a major event such as absconding or swarming occurs; based on accurate dance information, the colony prepares to move its stores and synchronize its relocation as a cohesive unit to the new nest site. However, decision-making by foragers on an individual level was not negatively affected by the inaccuracy of the waggle dances performed during the noon period, nor did it affect the number of foragers in the field.
Description: Journal of Apicultural Research, 2015 Vol. 54, No. 3, 246–254
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