Shapes & Designs

Bee Dance and Angles


The workers in a honeybee hive fly great distances to find flowers with the nectar they need to make honey. When a bee finds a good patch of flowers, she returns to the hive and communicates the location of the flowers to the other bees. Scientific observation has shown that honeybees have an amazing method for giving directions from the hive to the flowers: they perform a lively dance!

During the direction dance, a honeybee moves in a combination of squiggly curves and half circles. The squiggly lines in the dance indicate the direction of the flowers based upon the location of the sun.

If you experience difficulties running this activity in your browser, please see the browser help file for advice.

© 2006 Applet written by S. Keller, Department of Mathematics, Michigan State University

© 2006 Connected Mathematics Project, Michigan State University and Pearson
Education, Inc. publishing as Pearson Prentice Hall