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By Karl Von Frisch


Some 60 years ago, many biologists thought that bees and other insects were totally color-blind animals. I was unable to believe it. For the bright colors of flowers can be understood only as an adaptation to color-sensitive visitors. This was the beginning of experiments on the color sense of the bee (I). On a table outdoors I placed a colored paper between papers of different shades of gray and on it I laid a small glass dish filled with sugar syrup. Bees from a nearby hive could be trained to recognize this color and demonstrated their ability to distinguish it from shades of gray. To prevent too great a gathering of bees, I instituted breaks between feedings. After these breaks, only sporadic scout bees came to the empty bowl and flew back home; the feeding table remained deserted. If a scout bee, however, found the bowl filled and returned home successfully, within a few minutes the entire forager group was back. Had she reported her findings to the hive? This question subsequently became the starting point for further investigations. In order that the behavior of foragers could be seen after their return to th

Year: 2010
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