There is a "nothing left, don't go there" dance that I've seen on the landing board once or twice. It's a straight line, no circle. Fun to see. Also, when a bee jumps on the back of another and shakes her up and down it means "found the MotherLode, let's go get it before anyone else finds it", otherwise known as recruiting foragers.
I could spend all afternoon every day watching them.
The waggle dance is reported to be a signal for a close-in source. Since there is no sun angle or distance data, it means go out and look around in this area. If you have other hives in the area, you should be on the lookout for robbing in your yard.
peter, it may have been that motherload dance. i did see bees dancing on the backs of other bees. i just thought they were crowded. interesting.
i also just read about something called a tremble dance, which is used to recruit nectar handler/offloader bees. i.e. "i have a bunch of nectar and it's taken forever for you housebees to figure out where it goes." this makes sense with the state of my new hive. flow on. waxbuilders not keeping up. it can cause them to slow down foraging. they bounce and rotate their heads at the same time. not sure i saw rotation in that much detail.
to be clear. when i say "up-and-down," i mean perpendicular to the comb. like it's the floor. it was not a circle dance for close in sources. and not the typical side-to-side then circle to show distance and direction to forage.
there are also cleaning dances, alarm dances and swarm dances. but i haven't found anything showing what those look like.
Sometimes they have trouble getting any bees to pay attention to their dance. Often, instead of a new source, they are simply trying to recruit more forages because there is too much delay in unloading. So they grab a bee and shake it to get their attention. When an audience has been assembled they start their waggle dance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremble_dance
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