Este artículo es de Acceso Abierto y puede ser descargado en su versión final desde nuestro repositorio
Consulte el artículo en la página del editor
Consulte la política de Acceso Abierto del editor


Apis mellifera bees perform dances to communicate the presence of desirable nectar sources. The regulation of these dances does not depend exclusively on properties of the nectar sources, but also upon certain stimuli derived from the foraging status of the colony as a whole; i.e. bees exploiting a source of constant profitability are more likely to dance when the colony's nectar intake rate is low. Based on these stimuli, individual bees tune their dances according to their colony's nectar influx without visiting alternative nectar sources. Division of labour, in addition, is a common feature in honeybees. Upon returning to the nest, successful foragers transfer the content of their crops to food-receivers by means of a common behaviour in social insects called trophallaxis, i.e. the transfer of liquid food by mouth. Martin Lindauer stated that a returned forager may sense the foraging status of its colony on the basis of the food transfer process by computing how quickly and eagerly the food-receivers unload its crop. This study focuses on the forager's experience during the food transfer process, its variability based on the colony's nectar influx, and the separate effects that the 'ease' and the 'eagerness' of the food-unloading have on the tuning of recruitment dances. Results indicate that foragers can rapidly sense variations in the colony's nectar influx, even when they experience no variation in the time interval between their return to the hive and the beginning of the food transfer. To accomplish this task they appear to use stimuli derived from the number of food-receivers, which enable them, in turn, to set their dance thresholds in relation to the nectar influx of their colony. The relevance of these findings is discussed in the context of communication and successful foraging.


Documento: Artículo
Título:How bees tune their dancing according to their colony's nectar influx: Re-examining the role of the food-receivers' 'eagerness'
Autor:De Marco, R.J.
Filiación:Facultad de Ciencias Exactas Y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Pb. II, C1428EHA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie, Institut für Biologie-Neurobiologie, Königin-Luise-Strasse 28-30, 14195, Berlin, Germany
Palabras clave:Apis mellifera; Colony's nectar influx; Dance behaviour; Trophallaxis; animal; animal communication; article; bee; chemistry; feeding behavior; flower; food; motor activity; physiology; Animal Communication; Animals; Bees; Feeding Behavior; Flowers; Food; Motor Activity; Apis mellifera; Apoidea; Hexapoda; Insecta
Página de inicio:421
Página de fin:432
Título revista:Journal of Experimental Biology
Título revista abreviado:J. Exp. Biol.


  • Boch, R., Die Tänze der Bienen bei nahen und fernen Trachtquellen (1956) Z. Vergl. Physiol., 38, pp. 136-167
  • Chittka, L., Thomson, J.D., Waser, N.M., Flower constancy, insect psychology, and plant evolution (1999) Naturwissenschaften, 86, pp. 361-377
  • Crailsheim, K., Trophallactic interactions in the adult honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) (1998) Apidologie, 29, pp. 97-112
  • De Marco, R.J., Farina, W.M., Changes in food source profitability affect the trophallactic and dance behavior of forager honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) (2001) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 50, pp. 441-449
  • De Marco, R.J., Farina, W.M., Trophallaxis in forager honeybees (Apis mellifera): Resource uncertainty enhances begging contacts? (2003) J. Comp. Physiol. A, 189, pp. 125-134
  • De Marco, R.J., Gil, M., Farina, W.M., Does an increase in reward affect the precision of the encoding of directional information in the honeybee waggle dance? (2005) J. Comp. Physiol. A, 191, pp. 413-419
  • Doolittle, G.M., Where do the field-bees deposit their loads? (1907) Am. Bee J., 42, pp. 653-654
  • Dyer, F.C., The biology of the dance language (2002) Annu. Rev. Entomol., 47, pp. 917-949
  • Dyer, F.C., Seeley, T.D., On the evolution of the dance language (1989) Am. Nat., 133, pp. 580-590
  • Farina, W.M., The interplay between dancing and trophallactic behavior in the honey bee Apis mellifera (2000) J. Comp. Physiol. A, 186, pp. 239-245
  • Farina, W.M., Wainselboim, A.J., Thermographic recordings show that honeybees may receive nectar from foragers even during short trophallactic contacts (2001) Insectes Sociaux, 48, pp. 360-362
  • Free, J.B., A study of the stimuli which release the food begging and offering responses of worker honeybees (1956) Br. J. Anim. Behav., 4, pp. 94-101
  • Free, J.B., The transmission of food between worker honeybees (1957) Br. J. Anim. Behav., 5, pp. 41-47
  • Free, J.B., The transfer of food between the adult members of a honeybee community (1959) Bee World, 40, pp. 193-201
  • Goyret, J., Farina, W.M., Descriptive study of antennation during trophallactic unloading contacts in honeybees Apis mellifera carnica (2003) Insectes Sociaux, 50, pp. 274-276
  • Gregson, A.M., Hart, A.G., Holcombe, M., Ratnieks, F.L.W., Partial nectar loads as a cause of multiple nectar transfer in the honey bee (Apis mellifera): A simulation model (2003) J. Theor. Biol., 222, pp. 1-8
  • Huang, M.H., Seeley, T.D., Multiple unloadings by nectar foragers in honeybees: A matter of information improvement or crop fullness? (2003) Insectes Sociaux, 50, pp. 330-339
  • Keban, P.G., Baker, H.G., Insects as flower visitors and pollinators (1983) Annu. Rev. Entomol., 28, pp. 407-453
  • Kirchner, W.F., Lindauer, M., The causes of the tremble dance of the honeybee, Apis mellifera (1994) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 35, pp. 303-308
  • Korst, P.J.A.M., Velthuis, H.H.W., The nature of trophallaxis in honeybees (1982) Insectes Sociaux, 29, pp. 209-221
  • Kühnholz, S., Seeley, T.D., The control of water collection in honey bee colonies (1997) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 41, pp. 407-422
  • Lindauer, M., Über die Einwirkung von Duft- und Geschmacksstoffen sowie anderer Faktoren auf die Tänze der Bienen (1948) Z. Vergl. Physiol., 31, pp. 348-412
  • Lindauer, M., Ein Beitrag zur Frage der Arbeitsteilung im Bienenstaat (1952) Z. Vergl. Physiol., 34, pp. 299-345
  • Lindauer, M., Temperaturregulierung und Wasserhaushalt im Bienenstaat (1954) Z. Vergl. Physiol., 36, pp. 391-432
  • Lindauer, M., (1961) Communication among Social Bees, , Cambridge: Harvard University Press
  • Michelsen, A., Signals and flexibility in the dance communication of honeybees (2003) J. Comp. Physiol. A, 189, pp. 165-174
  • Montagner, H., Galliot, G., Antennal communication and food exchange in the domestic bee Apis mellifera L. (1982) The Biology of Social Insects, pp. 302-306. , ed. M. D. Breed, C. D. Michener and M. E. Evans, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press
  • Nixon, H.L., Ribbands, C.R., Food transmission within the honeybee community (1952) Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 140, pp. 43-50
  • Núñez, J.A., Quantitative Beziehungen zswischen den Eigenschaften von Futterquellen und dem Verhalten von Sammelbienen (1966) Z. Vergl. Physiol., 53, pp. 142-164
  • Núñez, J.A., The relationship between sugar flow and foraging and recruiting behaviour of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) (1970) Anim. Behav., 18, pp. 527-538
  • Núñez, J.A., Honeybee foraging strategies at a food source in relation to its distance from the hive and the rate of sugar flow (1982) J. Apic. Res., 21, pp. 139-150
  • Park, W., The storing and ripening of honey by honeybees (1925) J. Econ. Entomol., 18, pp. 527-538
  • Ratnieks, F.L.W., Anderson, C., Task partitioning in insect societies (1999) Insectes Sociaux, 46, pp. 95-108
  • Raveret-Richter, M., Waddington, K.D., Past foraging experience influences honeybee dance behavior (1993) Anim. Behav., 46, pp. 123-128
  • Riley, J.R., Greggers, U., Smith, A.D., Reynolds, D.R., Menzel, R., The flight paths of honeybees recruited by the waggle dance (2005) Nature, 435, pp. 205-207
  • Rösch, G.A., Untersuchungen über die Arbeitsteilung im Bienenstaat (1925) Z. Vergl. Physiol., 2, pp. 571-631
  • Seeley, T.D., Social foraging by honeybees: How colonies allocate foragers among patches of flowers (1986) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 19, pp. 343-354
  • Seeley, T.D., Social foraging in honey bees: How nectar foragers assess their colony's nutritional status (1989) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 24, pp. 181-199
  • Seeley, T.D., Honey bee foragers as sensory units of their colonies (1994) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 34, pp. 51-62
  • Seeley, T.D., (1995) The Wisdom of the Hive. The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies, , Cambridge: Harvard University Press
  • Seeley, T.D., Thoughts on information and integration in honey bee colonies (1998) Apidologie, 29, pp. 67-80
  • Seeley, T.D., Towne, W.F., Tactics of dance choice in honey bees: Do foragers compare dances? (1992) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 30, pp. 59-69
  • Seeley, T.D., Tovey, C.A., Why search time to find a food-storer bee accurately indicates the relative rates of nectar collecting and nectar processing in honey bee colonies (1994) Anim. Behav., 47, pp. 311-316
  • Seeley, T.D., Camazine, S., Sneyd, J., Collective decision-making in honey bees: How colonies choose among nectar sources (1991) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 28, pp. 277-290
  • Seeley, T.D., Mikheyev, A.S., Pagano, G.J., Dancing bees tune both duration and rate of waggle-run production in relation to nectar-source profitability (2000) J. Comp. Physiol. A, 186, pp. 813-819
  • Seeley, T.D., Kühnholz, S., Seeley, R.H., An early chapter in behavioral physiology and sociobiology: The science of Martin Lindauer (2002) J. Comp. Physiol. A, 188, pp. 439-453
  • Sen Sarma, M., Esch, H., Tautz, J., A comparison of the dance language in Apis mellifera carnica and Apis florea reveals striking similarities (2004) J. Comp. Physiol. A, 190, pp. 49-53
  • Thom, C., Gilley, D.C., Tautz, J., Worker piping in honeybees (Apis mellifera): The behavior of piping nectar foragers (2003) Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 53, pp. 199-205
  • Von Frisch, K., Über den Geschmacksinn der Bienen (1934) Z. Vergl. Physiol., 21, pp. 1-156
  • Von Frisch, K., (1965) Tanzsprache und Orientierung der Bienen, , Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer
  • (1967) The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees, , English version: Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
  • Von Holst, E., Mittelstaedt, H., Das Reafferenzprinzip (1950) Naturwiss, 37, pp. 464-476
  • Wilson, E.O., (1971) The Insect Societies, , Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
  • Zar, J.H., (1984) Biostatistical Analysis. 3rd Edn., , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall


---------- APA ----------
(2006) . How bees tune their dancing according to their colony's nectar influx: Re-examining the role of the food-receivers' 'eagerness'. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209(3), 421-432.
---------- CHICAGO ----------
De Marco, R.J. "How bees tune their dancing according to their colony's nectar influx: Re-examining the role of the food-receivers' 'eagerness'" . Journal of Experimental Biology 209, no. 3 (2006) : 421-432.
---------- MLA ----------
De Marco, R.J. "How bees tune their dancing according to their colony's nectar influx: Re-examining the role of the food-receivers' 'eagerness'" . Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 209, no. 3, 2006, pp. 421-432.
---------- VANCOUVER ----------
De Marco, R.J. How bees tune their dancing according to their colony's nectar influx: Re-examining the role of the food-receivers' 'eagerness'. J. Exp. Biol. 2006;209(3):421-432.