THE DANCING ROBOT
Bees, it turns out, can hear, and their ears are well suited for detecting the sounds associated with the dances. Observation of how the insects respond to a robot that dances and sings like a live forager shows that both sound and dance are needed to communicate information about the location of food. Silent dances, the experiment demonstrates, communicate nothing, and sound without dance also fails. Odors too are involved but appear to lack importance. Beyond these issues, we have also recently learned much more about the nature of the dance sounds, the bees' sense of hearing and the aspects of the dance that are most essential in the communication.