waggle dance

waggle dance

intro’d via Louis Rosenberg..

wikipedia small

Waggle dance is a term used in beekeeping and ethology for a particular figure-eight dance of the honey bee. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share, with other members of the colony, information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen, to water sources, or to new nest-site locations. A waggle dance with a very short waggle run used to be characterized as a distinct (round) recruitment dance (see below). Austrian ethologist and Nobel laureateKarl von Frisch was one of the first who translated the meaning of the waggle dance.


A waggle dance consists of one to 100 or more circuits, each of which consists of two phases: the waggle phase and the return phase. A worker bee’s waggle dance involves running through a small figure-eight pattern: a waggle run (aka waggle phase) followed by a turn to the right to circle back to the starting point (aka return phase), another waggle run, followed by a turn and circle to the left, and so on in a regular alternation between right and left turns after waggle runs. Waggle-dancing bees produce and release two alkanes, tricosane and pentacosane, and twoalkenes, (Z)-9-tricosene and (Z)-9-pentacosene, onto their abdomens and into the air.

The direction and duration of waggle runs are closely correlated with the direction and distance of the resource being advertised by the dancing bee. The resource can include the location of a food source or a potential nesting site…..The more excited the bee is about the location, the more rapidly it will waggle, so it will grab the attention of the observing bees, and try to convince them. If multiple bees are doing the waggle dance, it’s a competition to convince the observing bees to follow their lead, and competing bees may even disrupt other bees’ dances or fight each other off. 


The consumption of ethanol by foraging bees has been shown to reduce waggle dance activity and increase occurrence of the tremble dance.


The dancer’s body points in the direction of the food source and the sound produced during the dance indicates the profitability of the food.


  • Using information communicated in the waggle dance is more useful to foragers when private information about resources is lacking.


The waggle dance may be less efficient than once thought. ….studies have found that honeybees rarely make use of the information communicated in the waggle dance and seem to only do so about ten percent of the time. Evidently there is a conflict between private information, or individual experience, and social information transmitted through dance communication. This sheds light on the fact that following social information is more energetically costly than foraging independently and is not always advantageous. Using olfactory cues and memory of plentiful foraging sites, honeybees are able to successfully forage independently without expending the potentially extensive energy it takes to process and execute the directions communicated by their fellow foragers.

The waggle dance may be adaptive in some environments and not in others, which provides a plausible explanation as to why the information provided by waggle dances are only used sparingly. Depending on weather, other competitors, and food source characteristics, transmitted information may become obsolete quickly. As a result, foragers reported to be attached to their food sites and continue to revisit a single patch many times after it has become unprofitable. For example, the waggle dance plays a significantly larger role in foraging when food sources are not as abundant.


Another bee-inspired stigmergic computational technique called bee colony optimization is employed in Internet Server Optimization.



after listening to Louis Rosenberg.. and previously to Esko Kilpi (where he said we aren’t hardwired like ie: birds that swarm because we choose/think.. but believing in my mind that we are hard wired to dance together as one.. per individual whimsy) wondering if tech can help augment ni/one ness.. the convo of one ness.. by  slowing down the (rapid prototyping to slow ness) waggle interaction (well – not really slowing… more time warping..rather than what Louis is seeking or seems to be seeking with his magnet pulling puck) so that we can both shorten the distance/lag time between intention and action.. as well as lengthen/relax (allow for an echo ic chamber ish) the time to decide/think/reflect..

so.. looking into this just now.. be\cause..


perhaps the biggest myth leading us to group think.. is thinking that we have to choose/negotiate toward one decision..

perhaps ni/www ness will/can allow us to be ginormously small.. allow us to enjoy eudaimoniative surplus…. be\cause.. none of us are free if one of us is chained (to some compromise of whimsy et al)

perhaps the waggle dance.. is more about offering choices/directions.. w/no compromise, rather than get us all deciding on ie: one place to move to. because now *tech is capable enough.. to ground the chaos.. and facilitate our whimsy and finding our tribe..rather than coercing us toward a group decision.

*tech capabilities (io dance ness) to redefine decision making.. be\cause public consensus always oppresses someone (s)

watching Louis’s unu magnets drive the puck.. unsettling. all i could think of was.. coercion.. popular persuasion.. too fast to think/reflect.