Do Bees Hear?

Honey Bees

Honey Bees

For years, bees were known to detect vibrations in solid substrates with their legs, but no proof existed that bees could hear sounds traveling through air. A series of experiments in 1989 led to the conclusion that bees could respond to airborne sound* and a search for the bee sound receptor. It was well established that mosquitoes and other flies hear sounds with Johnston’s organ, a sensory structure in the base of the antenna that senses vibration of the antenna. Removing the antennae of bees leads to a loss of response to airborne sound. From this we conclude that bees hear with their antennae, the same as mosquitoes.

*WH Kirchner. 1993. Acoustical communication in honeybees. Apidologie 24: 297-307.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, communication. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Do Bees Hear?

  1. Pingback: Do Bees Hear? | Living With Insects Blog

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