News And Events

To Bee or Not to Bee: The Fascinating Language of Dancing Bees

Language is all around us. It appears in human and non-human forms. When some species of non-humans, such as dogs and cats, communicate with us, their owners know exactly what they are telling us. Other animal species, such as bees, have a more complicated language. Honeybee language is complex but fascinating and decoding it has been a challenge. Until now.

Tania Munz, Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, has researched the topic of Honeybee language and began studying the groundbreaking scientific research of Karl von Frisch, an Austrian-born scientist, who studied honeybees as their populations were dying in 1940s Europe. She began working on the project as a PhD student at Princeton University. Her new book, The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch and the Discovery of the Honeybee Language, tells the story of how Frisch discovered that honeybees communicate when they dance which challenged the belief that complex communication was solely human behavior.

Munz will share her research of Karl von Frisch and the language of dancing bees in a lecture program at Linda Hall Library. She will tell a story of groundbreaking scientific research that changed the understanding of human-animal boundaries, a discovery that was made during the 20th century's greatest geopolitical upheaval.

ESU members and guests are invited to this free lecture program.

What: Lecture: "Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch and the Discovery of Honeybee Language"

When: Thursday, September 8, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry St., Kansas City, MO.

Tickets: The event is free and open to the public; ESU members and Friends of ESU are invited and encouraged to attend this fascinating, free lecture. However, e-tickets are required.

Book signing: This is a Rainy Day Books author event co-sponsored and hosted by the Linda Hall Library. Copies of The Dancing Bees will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Parking: Free parking in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter. Door open at 6:00 p.m.

About the Author:

Tania Munz is the Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Mo. Previously, she was a lecturer at Northwestern University and a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She holds a PhD in the history of science from Princeton University. Munz's book has received critical acclaim. One advanced review has called the book "a triumph of science writing, a well-crafted, deeply researched story of politics, ethics, and the fascinating lives of humans and bees." Discover Magazine named it one of nine science books to read this summer, and the book has gotten positive reviews around the world, including the Times Literary Supplement and The Spectator. Learn more here.


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