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Published 1992 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Discrimination of low-frequency magnetic fields by honeybees: Biophysics and experimental tests


It has been shown repeatedly over the past 20 years that honeybees are able to detect weak, earth-strength magnetic fields. Table I shows a summary of these known geomagnetic effects on honeybee behavior, as well as the independent attempts to replicate them. We know of no attempts to replicate these effects that were not eventually successful (some apparently took practice). Towne and Gould (1985) provide a thorough and critical review of this literature prior to 1985 (effects 1-4 in Table I). Of these unconditioned responses, the horizontal dance experiment of Lindauer and Martin (1972) and Martin and Lindauer (1977) (effect 2 in Table I) has proven to be particularly easy to replicate.

Additional Information

© 1992 Rockefeller University Press. This work was supported by the Electric Power Institute (EPRI) contract RP2965-8, and a fellowship to J. L. Kirschvink from the Faculty of Engineering of Kyushu University and the Caltech SURF program. This is contribution No. 5060 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology.

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August 20, 2023
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