10.3.5 Dance follower's behaviour

Followers might preferably contact certain body parts of the dancer during the waggle phases in order to obtain specific information. For instance, the best position to perceive the acoustic near field produced by the waggle is located right behind the dancer (Michelsen, 2003). The best position to obtain pollen load information is near the dancer’s posterior legs (Díaz et al., 2007). Additionally, the preferred contact to obtain information on floral scents diluted in the nectar is to touch the dancer's head or mouth parts (Díaz et al., 2007). This analysis of contact preferences requires a frame-by-frame study of video recordings. It might not be possible to distinguish the movements of the dancer's antennae (its olfactory organs) due to the temporal resolution of the video. The number of head contacts, however, might be easier to quantify. These recordings guarantee that the hive bee's antennae indeed contact the dancer's body. Head contacts of hive bees with the dancers' body should not be confused with trophallaxis events (mouth-to-mouth food exchange). These social interactions should only be considered as trophallaxis when they are recorded for more than one frame in the analysis. The number of contacts recorded onto the dancer's body parts can be registered and pooled to analyse frequency of contacts (Michelsen et al., 1987; Díaz et al., 2007).