How Do Bees Communicate?

Bees can communicate in multiple ways. However, one of the ways they communicate is through trophallaxis, or the mutual exchange of regurgitated liquids.

How Bees Communicate
How Do Bees Communicate?

Trophallaxis

Trophallaxis allows for the sharing of a mass of chemical substances that contribute to communication within the colony. The bees communicate what type so flowers they are gathering nectar from during this process.  Also communicated is the fact that the hive is one unit, where all the members work toward building it and making it a healthy home.  

Once nectar is gathered by the forager bees, she will pass it to a bee in the hive that will take it to a cell in the hive to dry it out, reduce the moisture, making honey. This process of drying nectar is vital in stimulating the queen bee to lay more eggs, producing more bees for a upcoming nectar flow.

The Pheromones

The pheromones pass from one bee to another. This tells them whether they are worker bees, queens or drones. These pheromones originate and not only through the mouth but also through the body and the antennas. These chemical messages transmit information to the colony.  

There are many pheromones that bees use to communicate to each other.  The pheromones found in the beehive are:  alarm, beeswax, brood, drone, in combs, inhibitory, mandibular, queen (she has several pheromones that she uses), sex, synthetic, tarsal gland, wax moth, worker and worker repellant.  

Each of these pheromones serves a different purpose. For example, the alarm pheromone is released when the hive has been attacked.  This pheromone smells like bananas. 

Honey bees will dance on the honeycomb to communicate to the bees watching the amount of a nectar available, the distance to the nectar, as well as the direction the bee need to fly in relation to the sun to find that nectar source.  The dancing bee will also give a taste of the nectar to the bees.

Why Them Communicate

All of these methods of communication help them to work efficiently and share vital information. But remember, the reason we love bees is the honey they produce!

Make sure you try some of our delicious honey!

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