Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Orientation and Methods of Communication of the Honey Bee and its Sensitivity to the Polarization of the Light

Abstract

PROBABLY many biologists are by now acquainted with at least the outline of the very remarkable work on the dances of the honey bee published by Prof. K. von Frisch in 19461,2,3. Since then, two other papers4,5 has appeared which have carried the story a great deal further, and it now seems opportune to consider astonishing picture thus provided of the methoas of communication among worker bees and its far-reaching implications as to the capabilities of a bee's sense organs and brain. The zoologist may, indeed, be pardoned if at first he feels sceptical—in spite of the immense detail and thoroughness of the investigation and even though it comes from one of the most eminent living workers in these fields of study. Indeed, one experimental zoologist expressed himself to the writer as almost "passionately un-willing" to accept such conclusions, and probably many others feel the same—for the implications are oertainly revolutionary.

References

  1. 1

    Von Frisch, K., Osterr. Zool. Z., 1, 1 (1946).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Von Frisch, K., Experientia, 2, 397 (1946).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Von Frisch, K., Bull. Animal Behaviour, 1, No. 5, 1 (1947) (translation of ref. 1).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Von Frisch, K., Naturwiss., 35, 12 and 38 (1948).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Von Frisch, K., Experientia, 5, 142 (1949).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Baumgartner, H., Z. vergl. Physiol., 7, 56 (1928).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Boehm, G., Acta Ophthalmologica, 18, 109 (1940).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Thorpe, W. Orientation and Methods of Communication of the Honey Bee and its Sensitivity to the Polarization of the Light. Nature 164, 11–14 (1949). https://doi.org/10.1038/164011a0

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing