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Volume 2019, Article ID 4939120, 5 pages
Research Article

Follower Position Does Not Affect Waggle Dance Information Transfer

1Department of Entomology, 216 A Price Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2Department of Entomology, Citrus Drive, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Parry M. Kietzman;

Received 26 September 2018; Revised 4 January 2019; Accepted 11 February 2019; Published 3 March 2019

Academic Editor: David Roubik

Copyright © 2019 Parry M. Kietzman and P. Kirk Visscher. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is known that the honey bee waggle dance communicates the distance and direction of some item of interest, most commonly a food source, to nestmates. Previous work suggests that, in order to successfully acquire the information contained in a dance, other honey bees must follow the dancer from behind. We revisit this topic using updated methodology, including a greater distance from the hive to the feeder, which produced longer, more easily-read dances. Our results are not congruent with those of earlier work, and we did not conclude that honey bees must follow a dancer from behind in order to obtain the dance information. Rather, it is more likely that a follower can successfully acquire a dance’s information regardless of where she may be located about a dancer.