The "shaking" of worker honeybees by other workers

M. Delia Allen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


1. 1. Various types of distinctive quivering movements by worker honeybees inside the hive have been observed, and a detailed study of one of these ("shaking") was undertaken. 2. 2. The workers were found to be shaken throughout the year, although with greatly increased frequency in the summer. 3. 3. A daily cycle of shaking, commencing at daybreak and finishing at dusk, has been demonstrated. Shaking was recorded prior to the first flights of the day. Resemblances to fluctuations in flight activity could be traced but these were not sufficiently consistent to indicate a direct relationship between the two activities, nor was it possible to show a relationship with meteorological factors. 4. 4. The ages of workers engaged in shaking ranged from 2 to 61 days, with a progressive increase in numbers up to about 3 weeks of age. Following this it is thought that there was little change in the proportion shaking relative to the total number of older marked bees in the hive. 5. 5. There were indications that the frequency of shaking increased slightly with increasing age, but the increase was not statistically significant. 6. 6. Workers with an age-range of 0-55 days were shaken, but the younger bees were shaken less frequently than the older. 7. 7. The behaviour of individual shakers and of bees shaken is discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Jan 1959


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