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Significance of dorsoventral abdominal vibration among honey-bees (Apis mellifera L.)



IN observation hives worker honey-bees may often be seen to perform a behaviour pattern called dorsoventral abdominal vibration (DVAV)1, the jerking dance2, or shaking3. It has been suggested4–6 that it serves to prepare bees for flight, mainly on the grounds that the only occasions on which queen honey-bees are vibrated (subjected to DVAV) are before their orientation and mating flights and before swarming. But conclusive evidence has not been provided, and von Frisch regards the function of DVAV as still being obscure2. Gahl7 also leaves this question open.

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  1. 1

    Milum, V. G., Am. Bee J., 95, 97–104 (1955).

  2. 2

    Frisch, K. von, The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees (Belknap, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1967).

  3. 3

    Allen, M. D., Nature, 181, 68 (1958).

  4. 4

    Allen, M. D., Anim. Behav., 7, 66–69 (1959a).

  5. 5

    Allen, M. D., Anim. Behav., 7, 233–240 (1959b).

  6. 6

    Hamman, E., Insectes Sociaux, 4, 91–105 (1957).

  7. 7

    Gahl, R. A., Anim. Behav., 23, 230–232 (1975).

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