By Michael Thomsen For Dailymail.com
Published: 23:13 GMT, 14 February 2020 | Updated: 23:13 GMT, 14 February 2020
A team of scientists from the University of Minnesota have created a working dictionary of more than 1,500 unique dance moves used by bees to communicate with each other.
The list was compiled as part of a larger study into how land managers might prepare natural habitats to be more accommodating to bees, whose populations have been in rapid decline in recent years.
The team, led by University of Minnesota's Morgan Carr-Markell, brought two large bee colonies to two different sites in Minnesota where previously developed land had been reconverted into prairieland with a mix of native and non-native plants.
Researchers in Minnesota observed two different colonies of bees using more than 1,500 different 'waggle' dance moves to communicate with each other while flying in formation
The team originally wanted to study how bees reacted to different types of pollen sources to help guide land managers to an optimal mix of plants to support new bee populations.
As they observed the bees moving across the landscape they began to notice some unusual behavior, what the team described as ‘waggle dances,’ according to a report in Newsweek.
These waggle dances were used when groups of bees were flying outside of the hive, typically in a figure-eight formation.
The waggles were used to communicate with other members of the formation, indicating a range of information, including where to turn, the direction of the nearest pollen source, how far away it is, and how generally valuable to view the plant's pollen.
In all, the team cataloged 1,528 unique waggle dance motions, showing an unexpectedly complex and nuanced communication system among the two bee colonies.
The bees were able to communicate a range of information just by shaking their rears, including indicating when to turn, how far away a source of pollen was, and what general