Decoding Bees' Wild Waggle Dances

After finding food, scout bees returning to the hive dance on the vertical walls of the honeycomb. A round dance indicates the food is very close, within 35 yards or less. A figure-eight pattern indicates that the food is farther away. The bee indicates the distance to the food by how long it dances; it indicates the food’s richness by how vigorously it dances; and it indicates the food’s direction by the angle the dance deviates from an imaginary line drawn from the current position of the sun to the dance floor. The code is complex and detailed. —Wendy M. GrossmanDecoding Bees’ Wild Waggle Dances  (Wired)

Apparently the “waggle dance” has only been a theory until this research tested it with tiny, tiny radar units. I didn’t know that.