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


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.


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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).

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