Can honey bees hear?
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  1. #1
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    Default Can honey bees hear?

    Can honey bees hear?

    Are my bees able to hear me when I am talking to them? Do bees communicate with any type of audio sound?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    Yes, honey bees can 'hear'.

    Details here: http://www.beeculture.com/a-closer-l...n-and-hearing/
    See this link for more on audible "stop signals": http://labs.biology.ucsd.edu/nieh/papers/Nieh1993.pdf




    An interesting question to ask bees might be "How do bees feel about being called "girls"?



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    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 10-30-2016 at 06:09 PM. Reason: add another article
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    Apparently not -- at least not in the sense that we hear. They don't have ears. However, it appears they can sense vibrations and you could call that hearing if you want -- I'm not so sure I buy it. Our hearing is the conversions of sound waves of certain decibels into nerve impulses that are interpreted by the brain as sounds that we hear and know.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    What is the difference between very fine ability to detect vibration and "hearing"?


    Our "brain" hears vibration and sound waves via the eardrum. It seems feasible to me that a bee's brain could hear sound via vibration to the antennae or some other external sensory organ.

    Even deaf humans can detect vibration through their skin. They know when a door slams, when someone is walking across the hardwood floor. If those senses were further developed they would be able to sense much more defined "sound" through the skin. Sound is vibration of air. The eardrum develops a sympathetic vibration and that transfers the signal from vibration to nerve impulse. What limits hearing to eardrums? With sensitive hairs all over a bee’s body, maybe we will discover that a bee hears with it's entire body.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    Quote Originally Posted by orthoman View Post
    Apparently not -- at least not in the sense that we hear. They don't have ears. However, it appears they can sense vibrations and you could call that hearing if you want -- I'm not so sure I buy it. Our hearing is the conversions of sound waves of certain decibels into nerve impulses that are interpreted by the brain as sounds that we hear and know.
    Yes our ears detect vibrations of air molecules that the brain interprets as sound. Same thing bees do with different receptors. Their eyes are different too but they still see.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    I suppose it's more in the definition of the word "hear" than anything else. Without ears, they don't "hear" like we do but they certainly do sense and respond to vibrations. I'm not sure if they hear your voice or, if they do, respond in any way to it.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    I tell my bees what to do sometimes but they don't respond, so no, they surely can't hear. Scientific evidence there.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielD View Post
    I tell my bees what to do sometimes but they don't respond, so no, they surely can't hear. Scientific evidence there.
    DD, If not responding to a voice proved that bees were unable to hear then I bet your wife and mine have "scientific" evidence that neither of us can hear either.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    The Johnston's organs found in the honey bee's antennae is the equivalent of our ear. The bees hear their "conversations" just as we hear, when we wish to hear, what others (our wives) are saying. The vibrations Johnston's organs receive are air borne, not vibrations passed along through the comb.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundhwg View Post
    DD, If not responding to a voice proved that bees were unable to hear then I bet your wife and mine have "scientific" evidence that neither of us can hear either.
    I respond to when my wife says something most of the time. Eventually.

  12. #11
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    Boundary Creek, New Brunswick, Canada
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielD View Post
    I tell my bees what to do sometimes but they don't respond, so no, they surely can't hear. Scientific evidence there.
    Did you get the same response from the drones? Worker bees I understand all have "selective hearing"

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Can honey bees hear?

    I have never had a chance to try it, but my Dad has share stories that folks use to beat pots and pans and drums and they said that would settle a swarm or if out if the fields working bang a hammer or axe on a plow. Maybe something else worked to settle the swarm as they senselessly banged those pots and one person told another and the story grew. Supposedly, it only works when the swarm is in flight.

    Have heard that the idea of banging pots is a long-forgotten practice called "tanging." Back in the old days, if a swarm landed on your property, you could claim it as yours. If your bees swarmed to the neighbors’ property, the neighbors were considered to be the new owners of those bees.

    "Tanging," or banging those pots, was the way you could legally hop a fence and chase the swarm, basically communicating to everyone within earshot that this was your swarm, banging a pot (or whatever was handy to make a noise) signaled to the world that you were laying claim to this swarm, and further, you were trespassing in a non-offensive way in hopes of retrieving your swarm.
    After a few hundred yards, as you followed with a banging pot, the swarm settled. Which likely led to people saying, “Hey! It works!"

    Since bees do not have ears that work quite as our’s do. Do they just detect the vibrations? Would they even pick those vibrations up, especially with the whirring sound of a swarm in flight. There was supposed to be another practice of "drumming" a log or hive body to entice the bees to come in.

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