Questions for “Quacks and toots help young honeybee queens avoid deadly duels”

a top-down photo of a queen bee with a paint dot on her thorax in her hive - there are worker bees around her

A honeybee queen surrounded by her workers. Beekeepers will sometimes mark the queen with a dot (blue-green here) to make her easier to see.

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To accompany “Quacks and toots help young honeybee queens avoid deadly duels”


Before Reading:

1. Many insects make sounds humans can hear. List three or more of these. In each example, do those sounds have meaning — are they evidence the insects are deliberately communicating?

2. What’s one well known way that bees communicate with movement? (Hint: For its discovery, Karl von Frisch would share the 1973 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.)

During Reading:

1.  Which members of a bee hive quack and toot?

2.  What are acoustic waves and how can they be used in communication?

3.  What are apiaries?

4.  What do a bee’s quacks signal?

5.  What do the workers bees do when they hear a queen’s tooting stop?

6.  Under what circumstances will the worker bees let all of the baby queens hatch at once?

After Reading:

1.  Why do you think bees evolved this particular communication style? (Hint: Think about what a beehive sounds like.)

2. What might happen to the bee society if baby queens were silent?