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BeeWise is a 21st Century Beekeeping program that engages youth in science, technology, engineering and math through project-based art, making and citizen science.

Waggle Dance Game (Kit)   arrow

Waggle Dance Game

Youth playing the waggle dance game.

The Waggle Dance Game helps youth understand how honey bees navigate to pollen and nectar sources using the waggle dance. Youth learn how to read the waggle dance by using the game cards. The competitive game challenges youth to navigate to flower pieces placed in hidden outdoor spaces. Youth then navigate using the sun to find these flower game pieces and return with them, for a chance to be the next waggler.

Download the Kit and MAKE it

The waggle dance game kit is downloadable, with easy instructions for making your own game pieces. Simply download the files and print them, then cut the pieces out and laminate them. Attach the Velcro dots to the pieces where indicated.

Playing the Game

Youth reads waggle game card, as she prepares to do the waggle dance for her class mates.

The waggle dance game can be played a variety of ways, using the game cards.  Students are to share the scientific and common names with the description of the flowers. Then they perform the waggle dance.

Performing the Waggle Dance

When a waggler performs the waggle dance, they give each of their hive mates/class mates five (a hand gesture), a symbol of sharing pollen and nectar. Then the youth begins to make a buzzing sound. They begin flapping their arms (as wings) and waggling their rears toward the angle of the flower. This is all played out on a giant chalk drawn hive on the ground. The youth are then asked to draw the angle, which they interpret the waggle dance using chalk. Then the youth use their arms to align the angle of the sun at the top of the hive and the other to the angle of the waggle. Then they rotate to face the actual sun and run in the direction of their arm pointing to the theoretical flowers hidden in the yard, field or playground.

Using GPS for Expanded STEM Enrichment

The waggle dance game can also be played using GPS coordinates. I have youth record the GPS location of the flowers, which is used when they return to the theoretical hive to verify they found the exact location of the pollen or nectar source.

Download: Coming Soon