The bee dance of Michael Smith, scientist

You’ll not see anything quite like the bee dance created and performed by Michael Smith. Smith made this video and entered it into the 2011 Dance Your Dissertation competition:


Here’s how he describes the action:

In this dance, we see the first bee emerging from a trunk (her hive), and adopting a guarding stance. Her front legs are elevated, and she uses her antennae to examine bees as they enter. The second bee is the robber bee, in the same outfit as the first, but with a top hat that blocks her antennae, and a mask. She first approaches the hive to rob directly, but then falls back. The swaying dance, shown by movement back and forth, is characteristic of robber bees, which may be used to determine when to approach the hive safely. She then opens the hive, and eats some honey. Upon returning to her colony, she performs a waggle dance, to advertise the available resource to her sisters, and rob the entire food stores of the other hive (represented by eating more from the trunk, and kicking it over). The robber bee then returns to her own colony, and adopts a guard stance, to prevent robbing from occurring at her own home.

That being said, it must also be stated that there is a distant tradition of this sort of thing: