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  1. #81
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    According to the literature on the Nobel laureates, von Frisch, Lorenz and Tinbergen shared the prize in 1973, "For their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns." They made and make no mention of giving the prize to two for one reason, and to the third for a different reason. Go back and read the official releases by the Nobel committees if you want to confirm it.

    >>However, in spite of all the evidence I provided, you seem unable to get it into your head once and for all, that dance-attendants never use any spatial information contained in dances.

    I haven't seen any evidence either way on this thread, to support or refute the concept that bees use spatial information contained in dances. You've stated repeatedly that, [paraphrasing here] "Honey bees never use spatial or distance information in dances for orientation or locating sources of food." To me, that's not evidence, that's just flatly saying that you don't believe the hypothesis. Fine! You don't believe it. Now, WHY don't you believe it? Do you have data to completely refute the dance-language hypothesis?

    Honestly, I see the evidence presented by both sides as tenuous. As Ruth points out, other reasons for the "dance" behavior can explain away a lot of the dance-language hypothesis. But, the evidence that opponents of a dance language keep trotting out is pretty weak. The fact that a teleological-evolutionary argument might be flawed alone doesn't refute a dance language in bees. The fact that bees can and do search by odor doesn't refute a dance language. Even in combination, the two don't refute a dance language.

    >>In some cases those young bees eventually began to forage on their own, and performed perfect dances the first time they danced. In fact, it was this finding which led him to conclude that dancing behavior was "instinctive", i.e. genetically predetermined; which is an utterly unwarranted conclusion. You will understand why the conclusion is unwarranted, if you read and understand my highly plausible explanation of the dance.

    Seems to me like it's still "instinctive," even if you disagree with the reasons for the dance. What about the "wagging" of the abdomen? Does it remain constant as well? Why does the distance component of the dance correspond so well to the foraging trip if the foragers are simply trying to evade house bees eager for food? How do you determine that such behavior is NOT instinctive? It couldn't be learned in this case, I'm assuming, so what else could explain it?

    I see a contradiction, too, in the "sun-balancing" component of the "dance" and the shift to replacing the sun in orientation with gravity. If they're using gravity, they can no longer by balancing the physiological after-effects of the sunlight by dancing in opposite "direction" from which they returned. The transformation in other insects is real, but they don't shift between orienting in relation to the sun and orienting in relation to gravity.

  2. #82
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    I'd like to ask a question for all to ponder:

    If "dance" has no value as a communication
    tool for bees, then why are bee legs so good
    at picking up EXACTLY the frequencies of the
    vibrations generated during bee "dances", and
    why is honeycomb so good a "dance floor",
    transmitting those specific vibrations well
    beyond the area around the dancer?

    I cite the paper:
    "Transmission of Vibration Across Honeycombs and
    its Detection by Bee Leg Receptors"

    http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/199/12/2585.pdf
    Journal of Experimental Biology 199, 2585–2594 (1996)

    Lindauer should be well-known to anyone who has
    read even a few bee-related papers, as he does
    lots of good work, and is often cited by others.
    His reputation alone should be good enough to
    make the paper worth a glance. Sandeman is also
    cited fairly often in the literature.

    So, regardless of one's fondness for either
    evolution or "intelligent design", the issue of
    utility appears to beg the question "why would
    bee legs and honeycomb just happen to optimize
    the ability to detect vibrations in the range of
    150Hz to 250Hz, the exact range of frequencies
    generated by the various dances?"

    This sort of evidence makes it difficult to offer
    a coherent critique, which is why dance critics
    tend to offer nit-picking of the less well-crafted
    work, rather than a cogent explanation of a
    possible alternative mechanism.

    You don't need a laser vibrometer to reproduce
    these tests at home. One can use a wide range of
    much cheaper "accelerometer" transducers. I don't
    know that any except the best labs would have
    the gear to do the bee leg work, and it looks
    like the sort of work that would require a
    watchmaker to attach the hardware to the bee
    legs.

  3. #83
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    >I see a contradiction, too, in the "sun-balancing" component of the "dance"

    My initial question upon reading the sun-balancing bit was "Do honeybees perform dances on cloudy days?" Sure they do. So unless they're trying to counteract the effects of ultraviolet light (which penetrates clouds) the explanation doesn't make sense. Then, to continue Kieck's line of thought, ultraviolet doesn't penetrate wooden hive bodies any better than ordinary sunlight does.

    To be honest, Ruth's explanation of why bees dance doesn't pass the straight-faced test. Is it just me?

    >I wish to ask the moderators to ignore any/all personal attacks launched against me by Ruth, and refrain from revoking her posting privileges due to such incivility.

    I agree Jim, let Ruth go, I'm interested in what she has to say but please realize... it may not bother you, but for us sensitive feeling types, it's very very disturbing! We like peace... and harmony... It pains me to see you being cut to ribbons by her sharp tongue.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  4. #84
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    George, My mother always said...."Just consider the source, and smile". I think that is what Jim is doing, and as he says, it just enhances his reputation.

    Whether we believe in the DL or not, I don't know of one person who has changed their mind about it after reading this thread, do you?

  5. #85
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    > "Do honeybees perform dances on cloudy days?"

    William Towne of Kutztown U. in PA has done some
    very high-quality work in this area, so high-quality
    that he has yet to publish, wanting yet another
    season's data to confirm his findings. His work
    deals with how bees orient themselves to the
    landscape around a hive, and use landmarks to
    navigate when clouds prevent them from using
    the sun's position as a navigational aid.

    Yes, bees DO dance on cloudy days, but the bees
    are guessing at the actual sun position, proving
    that bees have a sense of time. The interesting
    thing is that experiments have been done that
    show that bees even know that the Earth is round,
    as they will dance at night, and CORRECTLY
    correct for a sun position that is "downwards"
    rather than "upwards", indicating that they
    somehow "know" that the Sun is shining on the
    opposite side of the planet.

    > for us sensitive feeling types, it's very very
    > disturbing!

    Ah, you should do what I did - have your ego
    surgically removed. Its just like an appendix,
    something that provides no known advantage, and
    can only cause you problems.

  6. #86
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    >His work deals with how bees orient themselves to the landscape around a hive, and use landmarks to navigate when clouds prevent them from using the sun's position as a navigational aid.

    Sounds facinating. I've pondered such things in relation to some recent threads about drone congregation areas and also at what appear to be preferential destinations and directions for foragers.

    I have to wonder, since bees can see ultraviolet light, what the world looks like to them, especially on a cloudy day. The sun must be "visible" to them, in every sense of the word. That bees know where the sun is when it's cloudy isn't a stretch for me. Knowing they orient their dances to the sun when it's below the horizon (which I've read somwhere) now *that* is a stretch for me. Totally believable, but a stretch. What marvelous creatures. Closed Case [img]smile.gif[/img]

    >proving that bees have a sense of time.

    Sure, that follows too- lots of animals have internal clocks. Bees also would appear to have a calendar.

    >Ah, you should do what I did - have your ego
    surgically removed.

    Oh, Jim, my mistake! I thought you had it inflated [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  7. #87
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    >I don't know of one person who has changed their mind about it after reading this thread, do you?

    Not yet, but then again iddee, Ruth has just started giving us something to chew on [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  8. #88
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    To Kieck,

    I won't say that the information you provide about the 1973 Nobel Prize awarded jointly to Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tibergen & Karl v. Frisch, is a figment of your imagination, because I haven't seen the source you rely on. I shall, however, not even bother to look up that source, because I read the exact statements about that specific Prize, that were made by representative of the Nobel Committee, during the award ceremony!

    I certainly stated that honeybee-recruits do not use any spatial information contained in their foragers'-dances (about the approximate location of food, or any other resource). However, your claim that I never provided any evidence for that statement, is a complete figment of your imagination. I will not say that you are lying deliberately, because I realize that you have a far more basic problem. You simply do not understand what evidence is.

    If you formulate a hypothesis, and obtain experimental results that grossly contradict that hypothesis, this means that your hypothesis is wrong, and you should dump it in the waste-basket. And (unless you can provide an acceptable explanation for the portion of your results that contradicts your hypothesis),it does not matter at all if only a portion of your results grossly contradicts the hypothesis.

    I made the statement that honeybee-recruits do not use spatial information contained in foragers'-dances, specifically on the basis of experimental evidence. Moreover, I very clearly gave you the evidence that is based on the experimental results v. Frisch obtained in his first study on honeybee-recruitment, as well as the evidence based on the typical manner in which recruits invariably arrive at small, man-made sources of attractive odors in the field (stations). I explained in detail why, in both cases the results grossly contradict the DL hypothesis.(Neither v. Frisch, nor any other DL supporter have ever been able to provide any, even remotely plausible explanation, for the contradictions; even though I did not bother to go into details about this specific point, because the failed pretext DL supporters tried to bring up are too silly to bother with.) Each of those two pieces of evidence separately, therefore, already suffices to completely discredit the DL hypothesis.

    With the kind of an audience I have here, I really do not want to waste any more time discussing the honeybee DL hypothesis in this forum. Enough is enough!

  9. #89
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    >To Kieck,

    >Honeybee-recruits do not use spatial information contained in foragers'-dances. Period!

    >All your comments on this issue are irrelevant.

    Did you forget?

    CASE CLOSED!
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  10. #90
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    > I really do not want to waste any more time
    > discussing the honeybee DL hypothesis in this
    > forum.

    OK, fine... then explain:</font>
    1. How an "odor" can be detected by bees
      when the source is 1 mile away from the hive.</font>
    2. How an odor can indicate a specific point
      source in the case of a feeder dish</font>
    3. How odor can be of any value at all when
      high winds are present.</font>
    Explain YOUR pet theory, and please REFRAIN from
    offering what you perceive as "defects" in work
    done on "dance" as pseudo-support for your
    contention.

    In short, make your case, in a calm and reasonable
    manner, and explain the mechanism by which
    it works.

  11. #91
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    To Jim,

    I know I should never waste any time responding to your utterly illogical comments. Nonetheless, let me try just one more time: The way it works is the way it works for flying insects in general. Flying insects in general use odor alone all along to find sources of attractive odors in the field; and this applies also to solitary insects, that have no one to provide them with any information about the location of any such source. Whatever answers scientists have already worked out about the details of how flying insects in general do it, is what scientists know about the details of the mechanism so far.

    You are incapable of even stopping for a moment to consider that since flying insects in general regularly do it, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever, why honeybee-recruits should not be able to do it too.

    I do not want to ever again deal with comments by someone [edit by admin]. And I won't do it again!

    [size="1"][ February 07, 2006, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: Admin ][/size]

  12. #92
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    "utterly illogical comments"

    I trust when you say that you have one eyebrow raised much higher than the other . . .

    Live long and Prosper Ruth

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  13. #93
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    I don't dispute that insects in general and bees in particular use odor to locate sources of food. I don't think anyone else here disputes that statement. I don't think they use odor exclusively to locate food either. Bees have good vision and apparently use it in addition to odor to find food sources.

    Honey bee dances would appear to be a very elaborate and needlessly complicated method of communicating the existance of a food source and recruiting other foragers if all they were doing is saying "smell me". Why orient the dance in such a way as to communicate the the angle defined by the sun, the hive, and the food source? Why modify the orientation of the dance as time passes to account for the apparent motion of the sun? Why impart data to the dance that correlates to the distance from the hive to the food source?

    So. We observe bees that have located a tasty source of food returning to the hive and recruiting other foragers by communicating to them the polar coordinates of the food source. "Fly this direction. Go this far. You can't miss it."

    Is it plausible to assume that a human observer could witness a honey bee dancing, correctly interpret the information imparted by the dance motions, and strike off from the hive in the proper direction and go the proper distance and find the food source? THAT would be a fun experiment!

    Ruth, you have yet to convince me that location information is not included in honey bee dances and that odor is the only means of recruitment. Explain honey bee dances! I don't see how you can promote one theory without fully addressing the opposing theory. Honey bee dances need a plausible and rational explanation, if they're not for recruiting foragers by communicating location information, what are they for? The only explanation you've provided so far I find hard to swallow.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  14. #94
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    &gt; You are incapable of even stopping for a moment
    &gt; to consider that since flying insects in general
    &gt; regularly do it, there is absolutely no reason
    &gt; whatsoever, why honeybee-recruits should not be
    &gt; able to do it too.

    Odors have a limited "range", as you and everyone
    else are aware. Bees forage at distances
    beyond the known range of the ability of
    detectable odors to travel. Even queen pheromone
    is only attractive to drones within a limited
    distance, so while odor alone might explain
    foraging at sources close to the hive, we still
    await an explanation of foraging by multiple
    recruits in increasing numbers over time at
    nectar and pollen sources at greater distances.

    Answer each question asked, be specific, and
    stop dodging the specific questions. Also,
    drop the insulting tone, as it makes your
    weaving and dodging look even more pitiful.

    Stand and deliver, and be civil.
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
    All I ask is that a mechanism be defined that
    applies to bees.

    We all continue to await a coherent explanation,
    rather than insults and misdirection.

  15. #95
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    &gt;&gt;I won't say that the information you provide about the 1973 Nobel Prize awarded jointly to Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tibergen & Karl v. Frisch, is a figment of your imagination, because I haven't seen the source you rely on. I shall, however, not even bother to look up that source, because I read the exact statements about that specific Prize, that were made by representative of the Nobel Committee, during the award ceremony!

    Actually, I used the official Nobel prize website, which provided the quotation I cited. I don't doubt that other comments were made during the award ceremony, but they aren't necessarily the "only" reason the award was given to von Frisch.

    &gt;&gt;I certainly stated that honeybee-recruits do not use any spatial information contained in their foragers'-dances (about the approximate location of food, or any other resource). However, your claim that I never provided any evidence for that statement, is a complete figment of your imagination. I will not say that you are lying deliberately, because I realize that you have a far more basic problem. You simply do not understand what evidence is.

    I read and reread your statements. I still see them as statements, not scientific evidence. Others on the thread are stating, "[Again, paraphrasing here] Bees use a dance language." To me, that's not evidence either. Perhaps, though, I should rephrase it: I'd like to see the data that refutes the hypothesis.

    &gt;&gt;Is it plausible to assume that a human observer could witness a honey bee dancing, correctly interpret the information imparted by the dance motions, and strike off from the hive in the proper direction and go the proper distance and find the food source? THAT would be a fun experiment!

    It IS a fun experiment, George, and very much worth trying to satisfy your own curiosity! I have done this experiment several times; the first time was in an animal behavior lab at the University of Kansas, and I've repeated it several times on my own for my own satisfaction. I works well for me, suggesting that direction and distance information is contained in the "dances," even if opponents deny that attendant bees use this information.

    Like others, I'd very much like to see the data that refutes the dance language so emphatically. Simply giving other explanations for the behavior doesn't do any more than dance-language hypothesis. From the opponents of a dance language, I'd like to see data that clearly rejects the use of such a language by bees.

  16. #96
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    &gt;It IS a fun experiment, George, and very much worth trying to satisfy your own curiosity!

    Well it's on my list, but it'll have to wait till I get an observation hive going. Chasing down some drone congregation areas around here is my first task, best not let myself get spread too thin [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Back to the dance language controversy. Didn't I read somewhere about some clever researcher that built a mechanical "dancing bee"? Am I nuts or did I really see this?
    Dulcius ex asperis

  17. #97
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    &gt;Am I nuts or did I really see this?

    Are these mutually exclusive?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #98
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    &gt;Are these mutually exclusive?

    Apparently not as the answer to both questions is "yes" [img]smile.gif[/img]

    It's on page 294 of my 6th edition of "The Hive and the Honeybee" complete with a diagram the contraption that would have made Rube Goldberg proud:
    In attempts to prove that honey bees use dance information, several scientists have constructed mechanical dancing bees that mimicked real bees in terms of sounds, movements, and odors. The object was to determine the extent to which naive bees could be directed to known food locations. After initial failures, Michelsen & Anderson (1989) claimed success.
    It goes on to say that the "controversy" is too complex and lengthy to be discussed in more detail, but then goes on to discuss it in more detail. There's actually more about the dance language "controversy" in this book than I'd remembered. Guess I'll take it to bed with me and bone up on the subject.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  19. #99
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    To Kieck,

    I definitely provided on this forum the data v. Frisch obtained in his first study on honeybee-recruitment. The data led him to conclude that honeybee-recruits use odor alone and NO information about the location of any food. I explained why his conclusion was fully justified. I also explained why they refuted his later DL hypothesis. I will not do it all over again.

    I also explained that recruits invariably arrive at small man-made sources of attractive odors in the field through an upwind zigzag (which means that they are already responding to attractive odors), from as far as the bees can only be spotted by observers at the sources with the naked eye, i.e. from at least 10 m. away. I explained that had recruits used the spatial information contained in the dances, they should have often arrived much closer to such sources (and especially the forager'-feeder, much closer than a distance of 10 m. away, by use of the spatial information alone, i.e. without an upwind zigzag, and then found the odor-plume from the source while within sight of observers. They are often expected to arrive by use of the spatial information alone, at points that are within the odor-plume from a source, and much closer to the source than a distance of 10 m. away, and then start the upwind zigzag from such points that are much closer to a source than 10 m. away. This has never happened (in observations on the arrivals of thousands of new-arrivals at such sources. This is why these observations grossly contradict the expectations from the DL hypothesis.

    If you were unable to understand those two different pieces of evidence, I cannot help you!

    V. Frisch used DL information from foragers'-dances to find the man-made foragers' food-source his assistants hid in the grass, long before you did it. Except that he needed to average the information from several different dances to find the source. Besides, does not even remotely support any claim that honeybees can do the same thing. Honeybees are not humans, and there are a million different things that humans can do, using human "brains", that honeybees cannot do. If you do not understand that, I can not help you, here, either.

    I shall not respond to any further claims from you that I did not provide the evidence that suffices to completely discard the DL hypothesis. I've simply had it!

  20. #100
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    To George Fergusson and all the others who brought up the dancing "robot" bee:

    Such a "robot" was indeed built, and those that experimented with it claimed their results experimentally confirmed that recruits used the spatial information provided by the "robot".The claim, like all earlier, or later such claims, is totally unwarranted, for a whole variety of reasons. The claim is just another case where staunch DL supporters managed to delude themselves, and then many others, into believing they had achieved the impossible.

    I dealt with that claim in one of the long messages I posted on the ANIMAL-BEHAVIOUR list. I explain to you how to subscribe to that list, and then obtain my posts. Here, I shall, however, note here the following:

    1. The claims by the robot team, like most (though not quite all) other such claims, are based on the authors' interpretations of their data obtained in the form of distributions of new-arrivals among the various man-made small sources of attractive odors provided in the field (stations). The interpretations of such data by DL supporters are invariably not only non-valid, but doubly non-valid, because they all, without exception, rely on erroneous expectations from the DL hypothesis, as well as the "odor alone all along" hypothesis. Both types of expectations were introduced by v. Frisch, and both are in error. I will not, however, explain here why this is the case. (I did explain it in my long posts on the ANIMAL-BEHAVIOUR list.)The only exception is Gould, who still relied on v. Frisch's erroneous expectations from the DL hypothesis (which suffices to completely invalidate his interpretations). As far as the expectations from use of odor alone all along, he relied, however, on his own expectations, where recruits presumably use the specific natural locale-odors the foragers bring in from the locale of the foragers'-station, to identify that locale on a map of the "olfactory landscape" of the whole foraging area of the colony. I.e., Gould believes that when recruits use odor alone all along, they still use information about the approximate site of the foragers' feeder, but they do not obtain that information from dances. The belief makes his interpretations totally irrelevant to the whole DL controversy, which is over whether recruits do, or do not, use odor alone all along, WITHOUT any information about the location of any food (as flying insects in general do to find sources of attractive odors in the field; and this includes also solitary insects, that have no one to provide them with information about the location of any food, through dances, or through natural locale-odors carried from the locale of the foragers'-feeder).

    2.The authors did not actually capture new-arrivals. Instead they relied on a criterion introduced by v. Frisch at some stage, to count as new-arrivals all bees that approached to within 20 cm. of a station through an upwind zigzag from outside the field of vision of observers at the station for spotting honeybees in flight. In other words, they were continually observing the typical manner of arrival, which alone suffices to completely discredit the whole DL hypothesis. But, they were so intent on obtaining the data on where recruits arrived, that they did not "see" that which was right before their eyes.

    3.The first study on honeybee-recruitment done with the "robot" bee was carried out by Michelsen et al. and published in Naturwissenchaften, in 1989.

    The results of all the distance-tests grossly contradicted the expectations of DL supporters themselves from the DL hypothesis. The maximum of new-arrivals never occurred at the DL stations. The authors claimed, nonetheless, that new-arrivals in those tests did use the DL information provided by the "robot", but some tall trees that were at least half a kilometer further from the hive than any of the stations, and not even anywhere near the expected flight-routes of recruit, distorted the results. This, if you will excuse the expression, is plain B.S!

    Moreover, if anyone could even begin to seriously consider such a preposterous pretext, he would have to discard practically all tests done on honeybee-recruitment, because usually there were some tall trees, near, or far from the experimental area.

    In the direction the maximum of new-arrivals invariably occurred at the DL station indicated by the "robot". In all those tests there was the DL station, and an "opposite" station, with the wind blowing perpendicularly to the directions of those 2 stations. Most of the direction-tests, however, included a strong bias in favor of the DL station, in the form of 2 additional stations, one on each side of the DL stations, at 45 degrees to that DL station. Even if you do not know that this introduces a strong bias in favor of the DL station (which the authors should have known because Wenner had repeatedly stressed the expected effect of the geometric arrangement of stations on use of odor alone all along), you do not do something like that! The authors present the results of only 2 tests without that strong bias, but a maximum at the DL station can then be expected by accident in 25% of the cases (especially since a wind that blows in one perfectly constant direction does not exist in nature, and any slight change in wind direction would have given an advantage to the one of the only 2 stations, that was closer to the upwind direction. here is a 50% (1/2) chance that you would obtain such results by accident if you carry out only one test, and 25% (1/2 x 1/2 + 1/4)), if you carry only 2 tests. In science, the occurrence of any results is considered insignificant, i.e. not convincing for any claim, unless the result are expected in less than 5% of the cases.

    Another study with the "robot" team was then carried out by Kirchner & Towne, and published in Scientific American, in 1994. The authors did not try any distance tests. Why tempt the devil? They present the results of only 2 tests , with 8 stations equally spaced in a circle all around the hive. The results fit the totally erroneous expectations of DL supporters from the DL hypothesis (which provides no support for the DL hypothesis, because, as I pointed out earlier, the expectations are in error). Moreover, with this arrangement of stations, the most important factor expected to affect results due to use of odor alone all along, is wind-direction; which the authors do not even bother to provide!

    Wenner labeled the science done by DL supporters, in print, as "sick science". The science DL supporters did with on honeybee-recruitment, using the "robot" bee is an example of "very sick science!"

    This is not surprising at all, in view of the history of the researchers involved in these studies. The first study included Martin Lindauer, v. Frisch's best known former student, and collaborator. The second study involved Kirchner, who was a member of the team that carried out the first study, and Towne, a former student of James Gould, who was himself a former student of Donald Griffin, the first scientist to give v. Frisch's sensational DL hypothesis maximal publicity in the US, starting in 1949. The science DL supporters do is not just "sick science", but science that is not only "sick" but science that carries "an infectious disease".

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