Scientific Principles

I. Importance of Collective Worker Choices over Queen Choice


  A. Finding Food Sources as a Colony:

When scouts find a new quality food source (nectar or pollen), they come back to the hive and communicate its location to others. They do this using a pattern of movement called the “waggle dance”. Idle foragers will see bees doing a waggle dance and fly to the food source. If it is still a quality source, then they will dance for it upon returning. In this way, better sources are danced for more and idle foragers are more likely to see a dance to that source. As sources deplete in quality, they will be danced for less, and the dances seen less. In this way individual bees can work in concert as a superorganism to choose food sources.


How the waggle dance works:


How the honey bee hive communicates and votes using the waggle dance (to find nectar, pollen, propolis, water, and a new home when swarming):


Biology professor and renowned beekeeper Tom Seeley explaining how bees use the waggle dance to find a new home:


Academic talk hosted by Tom Seeley explaining his research about how bees use the waggle dance to communicate and vote:



II. Thermoregulation:

Observation Hives –  full article (Jeff Murray)

[Editor’s note: this article was published in a slightly abbreviated form in The New Zealand BeeKeeper in April and May 2012.]

 This article has been reprinted with the kind permission of The New Zealand BeeKeeper.


The information provided in this Instruction Manual is provided solely for the user’s benefit, so users should read the Instruction Manual fully and carefully before building an observation hive and follow the instructions provided in their entirety, as failure to follow the instructions provided could result in injury to you or damage to your property. Children should always have adult supervision when interacting with an observation hive. This Instruction Manual is provided “AS IS,” without representations or warranties of any kind. Every effort has been made to make sure that that the information provided in this Instruction Manual is accurate and up to date, and Classroom Hives Inc. is not liable for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the user’s use or misuse of this Instruction Manual or the information provided therein.”

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