Med. Weter. 80 (5), 200-211, 2024

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Communication among animals and bioacoustics studies on bees.
The communication of honey bees encompasses diverse forms, focusing on signals that resemble those in the learning process. Bioacoustics plays a crucial role in understanding this phenomenon, especially in the context of social insects, where communicative coding is complex and essential for survival. In this article, various aspects of bee communication are analyzed, examining both acoustics and other forms of information transmission. In the bee family, there are several communication mechanisms, such as the dance of bees, vibrations, buzzing, and singing. The dance communication of honey bees, based on dance movements, dates back as far as 40 million years, making it older than human language. This form of communication is linked to environmental needs and determines the survival of bees. Signals from queen bees are associated with reproductive needs within the colony, and other individuals exhibit diverse sound characteristics. Different species of bees utilize various aspects of the environment for communication, including gravity and the position of the sun. The precision of transmitted signals may depend on the distance to a food source or potential threat. Sounds emitted by bees serve diverse functions, such as deterring predators or recruiting other individuals for food collection. Modern technologies, especially bioacoustics, enable more precise studies of bee communication. Advanced methods of vibrational spectrum analysis even allow the prediction of swarming with high effectiveness, which can be particularly useful in beekeeping practices. Studies on the bioacoustic hive, utilizing stereo microphones and soundproofing, indicate the potential of these technologies for a better understanding of bee communication in natural conditions. However, many aspects of bee communication still require more detailed research, such as the role of honey-filled cells in transmitting vibrations, necessitating the use of precise tools and technologies. The bioacoustic hive project, based on traditional bee frames, provides new insights into bee communication, especially concerning sounds generated during bee collisions within the hive. Conclusions from bioacoustic studies have significant practical potential in apiculture. The use of stereo microphones and soundproofing improves the perception and assessment of acoustic phenomena within the hive. Prospects for utilizing sound recorders for continuous monitoring of life inside the hive, and the assessment of zoo-hygienic conditions, underscore the growing importance of bioacoustics in beekeeping practices. These discoveries open new perspectives for research into the social life of these crucial insect species and their conservation.
Keywords: bioacoustics, beekeeping, communication, social insect