5 euro - The Waggle Dance
Series: Austria - Silver 5 euro coins
Why talk when you can dance instead? That’s how bees communicate. Their ‘waggle dance’ is a wonderful phenomenon and one that not only bees themselves benefit from. Other living creatures, including humans, do so too, because bees are a vital part of our ecosystem: their welfare is our welfare. In the early 20th century, the unusual behaviour of honeybees piqued the curiosity of behavioural scientist Karl von Frisch (1886–1982), who grew up in Vienna. He was intrigued by the way the insects sometimes move in circles and perform a figure of-eight ‘waggle dance’. In time, von Frisch discovered that when doing so, bees are in fact ‘speaking’ a dance language to the other members of their hive to show them where they can find pollen and nectar. Although originally disputed by other scientists, von Frisch’s theory eventually earned him the Nobel Prize in 1973. The ‘round dance’, in which bees walks in a circle, turn around, then walk the same circle in the opposite direction, tells watching bees that there are flowers with pollen in the immediate vicinity of the hive. When the food source is further away, the waggle dance tells the watching bees how far it is and in which direction they can find it. A representation of the waggle dance is shown in the background on the coin’s reverse, behind a bee in flight and above a decorative honeycomb deign. The obverse of the nine-sided coin shows the coats of arms of all the provinces of Austria. Not just for nature lovers, whether in copper or silver, Waggle Dance makes for a great spring or Easter gift.