- Scientists, including Aristotle, have long noticed that honeybees return to the nest and dance when they find food. In the 1940s, Von Frisch found a pattern in the dance, but still wasn’t sure exactly how the bees communicated the location of the food.
- In the 1960s, Wenner and Esch noticed that honeybees make low-frequency sounds from wing vibrations when they dance. But at the time scientists believed honeybees couldn’t hear, so Wenner thought the honeybee dance communicated information via smell.
- Gould proved that honeybees could direct other bees to food even if the original bee hadn’t been to the food before (and so didn’t smell like food). Kirchner and Michelson found that a robot bee could communicate throughs sounds in dancing.
- All animals communicate. Some species communicate with symbols. Researchers recorded vervet monkey calls, and played them electronically. Monkeys reacted differently to recordings of different calls: eagle calls made them look up, snake calls made them look down.
So each call represented a different predator.
- Von Frisch found that bees use dances to communicate in a symbolic language.
- Bees don’t blindly follow the information they receive, despite having a simple nervous system. After Gould trained bees to find food in a boat, he observed that other bees wouldn’t follow the foragers’ instructions to go to the boat, as they knew there would be no flowers in such a place.
(Note: presumably there were flowers placed artificially in the boat. This implies the nest bees didn’t believe the foragers, as they “knew” flowers couldn’t grow in a lake. Whereas the foragers had seen flowers.)
The two passages have similar subject matter, but different purposes. Passage A is about how bees communicate information, and describes the progression of scientific knowledge. The final, implied conclusion is that bees communicate information through sound in their dance.
Passage B is instead about the ability of animals to communicate in symbols. Bees are mentioned, but only as an example of symbolic communication.
There’s not much else to say about the two passages. Success here is mostly about command of detail. So you should make sure you understand the info from the passage summaries, and know roughly where it is located, so you can refer to the passage to find it when a question demands specific information.
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