Decoding the Dance of the Honey Bee, in Real-Time
Since the deciphering of the honey bee ‘waggle’ in the 1920’s by Karl von Frisch, researchers have been measuring the dance-like form of communication that allows bees to convey direction and distance to a food source. While this observation process was initially manual and time-consuming – requiring humans, protractors, and stopwatches – techniques have evolved with technology. Recently, a team from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Free University of Berlin, Germany have created a method using cameras and algorithms to automatically detect, decode, and map this communication in real-time with 90% accuracy. Their plan for the future is to create a more user-friendly, mobile version of the software for easier access and use by researchers.