Karl by freshly

Karl knight of freshness (* 20. November 1886 in Vienna; † 12. June 1982 in Munich) was long time professor for Zoologie in Munich and is considered as one of the most important German-speaking behavior researchers. In the center of its work the research was locatedthe sensory perceptions of the honey bee and the way of the communication of these animals among themselves. For its achievements it was honoured 1973 together with Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen with the Nobelpreis for physiology or medicine. With the honor “its discoveries became the organization and releaseappreciative by individual and social behavior patterns ".

Table of contents


Karl von Frisch studied medicine in Vienna and Munich first and turned to the natural sciences only later. 1910 attained a doctorateit to the Dr.phil. In the same year he came as an assistant to zoo-logical Institut of the University of Munich, where he became 1912 private lecturer in Zoologie and comparative anatomy; 1919 it became a.o. Professor appointed. 1921 went from freshness as full professor for Zoologie and a director of institute to thoseUniversity of Rostock. 1923 it followed a call after Breslau, returned then however 1925 to the University of Munich, where it took over the line of the zoo-logical institute. To destruction of the there zoo-logical institute in the Second World War it went 1946 to the Karl Franzens university Graz, to it1950 after reopening residents of Munich of the institute there returned. in addition, 1958 it was emeritiert, continued in the future its scientific research.

1962 he received the Balzan price for biology.

Karl von Frisch was with Margarete, geb. Mohr, marries; his son, Dr. Otto von Frisch, was of 1977 - 1995 director of the national nature-historical museum Braunschweig and Präsentator of the 1970er-Fernsehserie of “Paradiese of the animals”.

research results

Karl von Frisch examined the smell and sense of taste of the western honey bee. It found out that bees can differentiate between different flowering plants at the smell. Surprisinglytheir sensitivity for the Geschmacksrichtung is sweetly less high than with humans.

The vision of the bees for forms is human seeing strongly to support, it is however by a high temporal resolving power particularly good able to notice movements. Their color seeing differs from thathumans, since its eye cannot notice the color red, on the other hand however over color sensory cells for the basic colours yellow, blue and ultraviolet order. Several blooms, which appear to humans in the same yellow, can appear differently colored for bees because of the different ultraviolet portion.

Those are importantInvestigations on the sense of orientation of the bees. Karl von Frisch found out that bees exact directions can keep, whereby they can use the sun as compass even if her are not visible. Owing to the special structure of the bee eye they are able to notice polarized light.From scattered light in the blue sky results there a characteristic sample of partly polarized light not visible for humans, which is dependent on the conditions of the sun. Each place at the sky exhibits a certain percentage of the polarization of the light and a certain oscillation level of the polarization. Is only one piece of blue sky visibly, knows the bee at the there visible sample, even if the sun is covered by clouds, which recognize exact position of the sun and orient themselves to it. The bee has besides an internal clock. It knows from a trip toTomorrow the direction of a fodder place, finds it to its direction on the basis the position of the sun also in the afternoon, by considering the movement of the sun correcting.

Realizations over found fodder places can be passed on from bee to bee. For this a special dance serves, that in two forms as communication mediumarises. A round dance serves as information that the fodder place (without indication of direction) is in the closer periphery of the Bienenstocks, approximately in the distance of 50 to 100 meters. Through close contact of the bees thereby also information about the kind will hand over to the source of food (bloom smell). For information overmore distant sources of food however the Schwänzeltanz is used. The dancing bee on the perpendicularly hanging honeycomb in the Bienenstock moves a piece straightforward, runs back then in the semi-circle to the starting point, runs out the same distance again straight and describes then a semi-circle to the other side,on which the dance begins again from the front. On the straight distance the bee with the abdomen implements schwänzelnde movements. The direction, in which the straight distance will go through, contains the information about the direction of the source of fodder. Gives the angle, that the straight distanceto Senkrechten forms, exactly the angle on, which the indicated flight direction with the conditions of the sun forms. The distance of the source of fodder is communicated to the straight distance per time unit by the speed of the dance, thus by the number of the runs. The other bees take the informationup, by keeping close contact during the dance to the dancing bee and reconstructing their movements. They receive information about the kind of bloom which can be found also about the sense of smell. Also in such a way received direction codes become with a trip later time of day of the beedepending upon changed position of the sun converted. Orientation works in all other respects so well that the bees find a source of fodder with the help of the Schwänzeltanzes if they must fly a detour because of an obstacle, about a mountain lying between them.

Karl von Frisch in all other respects found out,that bees the direction of the magnetic field of the earth to notice can. They use this ability, by always aligning the building of their honeycombs in the dark Bienenstock in the same direction to the magnetic field.

Karl von Frisch was obvious much to bring the results of its research also laymen.Thus developed the books “dance language and orientation of the bees” and - with newer research results - “from the life of the bees”.


as its most important work regarded Karl von Frisch:

  • The colors and sense of form of the bees: Zoo-logical yearbooks (physiology) 35, 1-188, (1914-15)
  • Over the sense of smell of the bees and its bloom-biological meaning: Zoo-logical yearbooks (physiology) 37, 1-238 (1919)
  • over the “language” of the bees. A animal-psychological investigation: Zoo-logical yearbooks (physiology) 40, 1-186 (1923)
  • investigation on the seat of the sense of hearing with the Elritze: Magazine for comparative physiology 17, 686-801 (1932)
  • Over the sense of taste of the bees: Magazine for comparative physiology 21, 1-156 (1934)
  • you and the life - a modern biology for everyone (1936)
  • over frightening off the Fischhaut and its biological meaning: Magazine for comparative physiology 29, 46-145 (1941)
  • the dances of the bees: Austrian zoo-logicalMagazine 1, 1-48 (1946)
  • the polarization of the sky light as orienting factor with the dances of the bees: Experientia (Basel) 5, 142-148 (1949)
  • the sun as compass in the life of the bees: Experientia (Basel) 6, 210-221 (1950)
  • dance language and orientation of the bees, Springer publishing house Berlin-Heidelberg-new York (1965)
  • outthe life of the bees, Springer publishing house Berlin-Heidelberg-new York (9. Edition 1977), ISBN 3-540-08212-3

investigation on the seat of the sense of hearing with the Elritze: Magazine for comparative physiology 17, 686-801 (1932), with R. Stetter.

Karl knight of freshly medal

the “Karl knight of freshnessMedal " is a science price of the German zoo-logical society (DZG). The price is lent in the 2-jährigen rotation at scientists, whose work is characterised by outstanding zoo-logical achievements, which represent an integration of the realizations of several biological single disciplines. It is the most important science price of the Zoologie in Germany andis endowed with 10.000 euro.

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