ScienceDaily (Jun. 10, 2008) — Asian and European honeybees can learn to understand one another's dance languages despite having evolved different forms of communication, an international research team has shown for the first time.
The nine species of honeybees found worldwide separated about 30 to 50 million years ago, and subsequently developed different dance 'languages'. The content of the messages is the same, but the precise encoding of these languages differs between species.
Now researchers from Australia, China and Germany have discovered that the two most geographically distant bee species -- the European honeybee Apis mellifera and the Asian honeybee Apis cerana -- can share information and cooperate to exploit new food sources.
Storytellers: Dr Shenglu Chen and Songkun Su from Zhejiang University in China and Dr Jürgen Tautz from Würzburg University in Germany
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