- Only Human
The Art of the Insect
Earlier this week I was tickled by a study about dancing insects. European honey bees perform a rump-shaking ‘waggle dance’ in order to tell their hivemates where they’ve found food. The new research showed that when the bees don’t get any sleep, their dance moves become spasmatic and repellent; they clear the floor like a drunk uncle at a wedding (see a video here).
I suspected that the lead researcher, Barrett Klein, would be an interesting guy just based on the URL of his website — www.pupating.org — and I was right. He not only comes up with clever experiments to test Apis social interactions, but is an illustrator, sculptor and expert in ‘cultural entomology’: the study of