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September 20 2012
Experiments on the division of labour in honeybee hives have revealed why some bees do the waggle dance while others nurse their queens.
The roles require drastically different behaviours, with nurses feeding the larvae and performing royal grooming duties, and foragers navigating great distances and performing complex dance routines to point others in the direction of rich sources of nectar.
According to a report in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the job a worker bee does corresponds to distinct patterns of chemicals that latch on to and regulate certain genes in their brains.
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