While monitoring the bees social interactions, we also looked at the frequency of the conversations. We expected to it be quite evenly spread, but what we saw was a high volume of rapid bursts of conversations.
This is shown in the chart below. The x-axis is the time between chats and the y-axis is the number of chats. The spike on the left hand side is very frequent conversations and ones to the right have longer and longer gaps between them:
So the bees aren’t chatting in the same way all the time, they get bursts of chattiness.
We compared the bee model to a model of typical human interactions and found they are almost identical.
This is just like activity on Twitter. On a slow news day when its just war and famine then Twitter is pretty quiet but on a big news day when one of the Kardashians gets a new hat, then there will be bursts of chattiness. It’s not the number of people talking that is interesting, it is the increased frequency between chats that signifies “chattiness”.
According to one of the researchers “interestingly, despite being separated by 600 million years of evolution, bees and humans show remarkably similar patterns of social interactivity”.
So the bees are getting excited about something, and have bursts of chatiness, but no one seems to know what they might be talking about.”
Andy Welch, Analytics Engineer
BEES CHATTING – DATA ANALYTICS