Bees are funny critters. They seem so primitive in one way…in fact they are primitive having originated 35 million years ago. But in another sense, they are incredibly advanced. They communicate the location of food to each other through the “waggle dance”. They live in community (uncommon for insects) and they know how to do laundry.
Well, they don’t really do laundry because bees are naked. But if they wore clothes, they would know how to wash. See, bees do this funny thing called washboarding. In the bee world, washboarding is the term for when bees congregate on the outside of the hive in good numbers and appear to scrub the hive with their feet and tongues. It’s sort of difficult to describe so make sure you see the video.
(if that video doesn’t work on your machine, please try this one)
Bees that exhibit washboarding are apparently happy bees. The first time I saw it, I was sure that the bees were getting ready to swarm or attack my kids and wife, or maybe eat holes in the o-zone layer. It turns out that washboarding bees are pretty docile, in fact. I get mesmerized by watching their simple rhythmic behavior. It seems that all of the bees work in unison.
So, if you ever see bees washboarding, consider that this 35 million year old species is doing laundry now and may be ready to take over the planet in another 35 million years! They do appear to be benevolent so we may be ok though!
p.s. I am heading to the beach for a week starting tomorrow. This is how I feel:
See, you can tell by my exuberant “thumbs up” and my snazzy shirt!