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  1. ITV Report

'Alarm clock' of bees recorded for the first time

A team of researchers monitored the signals from bees for over the year. Credit: PA

A bee's "alarm clock" has been documented for the first time by researchers.

Scientists have recorded the honeycomb vibration of the honeybee which prompts others in the hive to start getting busy.

The signal, known as the Dorso-Ventral Abdominal Vibration, alerts other bees to start foraging for food or become more active when the insects drum on the comb.

It had previously only been visible to the naked eye by opening up the hive and had only ever been measured during the day for very short periods.

A team of researchers from Nottingham Trent University monitored the signal for over a year and said the vibration reduces during the winter months.

They used simultaneous video and accelerometers embedded into the honeycomb of a number of hives which meant they did not disturb the colony.

Scientists believe there are 'exciting new pathways to explore' from the results. Credit: PA

Dr Martin Bencsik, lead researcher and a scientist at the university's School of Science and Technology, said: "Bees rest to conserve energy when they don't need to be active, and some will wake the others up when it is time to start work.

"We now have proof that honeybees induce specific vibrational waveforms into the honeycomb.

Bees rest to conserve energy when they don't need to be active, and some will wake the others up when it is time to start work.

– Dr Martin Bencsik, Nottingham Trent University

"Now that we have thorough measurements of these, we could artificially drive them into the comb to further challenge our understanding of its functions.

There are numerous exciting new pathways to explore, as a result of this work."