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"While we marvel at the genius of the bee and her wonderful dances, we are reminded once more that bees, like people, are not alike. Not all are attentive when the dances are performed. Some do not follow directions. They may search far afield after a round dance directs them to a nearby food source, stay nearby following a wagging dance, or go off in the wrong direction altogether. Von Frisch wonders if they might have misunderstood the language. Or are stubborn nonconformists going their own way?

No, he replies, asserting that whatever the reason for this "wrong" action these eccentrics also have their own use. If a field of blossoms is located in the north, it is desirable to dispatch foragers there as quickly as possible, but at the same time there may be a similar or better yield elsewhere. Thanks to the eccentrics who do not follow rules, all possible sources of food are quickly brought to the notice of the bees."

― William Longgood, The Queen Must Die, And Other Affairs of Bees and Man





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Updated 2 February 2012 | eccentric beekeeper