Karl von Frisch spent years studying honey bees. He was fascinated with how bees found sources of pollen and communicated that back to their fellow hive mates. As he studied, he discovered the bees that actually find the pollen do not return to lead others to it. Instead, they perform intricate dances within the hive that vary depending upon a variety of factors.
When food is within a certain distance of the hive, the dance is circular. When food is farther, the dance is a sort of figure eight with what he called a “waggle” in the middle. The speed of the dance, he discovered, had to do with a more specific distance to the food source. The dance included a straight movement to indicate direction of the food as well.