Honey bees use vibrations transmitted through the honey comb for communication. The vibration of the comb vibrates the legs of the bees. A receptor that measures the extension between two leg segments, the tibia and femur was found* to produce large nerve signals (action potentials) in response to vibrations that elicited bee behaviors.
It is possible to train bees using vibration. If a platform leading to a feeding station containing a food reward is made to vibrate and a platform with a feeding station but no food reward is stationary, forager bees will learn to only enter the feeding station if the platform vibrates. This training provides a method to “ask” bees what vibration frequencies they can detect. These types of experiments were use to first demonstrate that bees detect vibrations with their legs.**
*D Sandeman, J Tautz, M Lindauer. 1996. Transmission of vibration across honeycombs and its detection by bee leg receptors. Journal of Experimental Biology 1996 199: 2585-2594
**Hansson A (1945) Lauterzeugung und Lautauf- fassungsvermögen der Bienen. Opusc Ento- mol suppl 6, 1-124
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