There’s an interesting discussion on Bee-L about piping (if you don’t know Bee-L you should check it out). In 1964 Harald Esch wrote the following:

Harald Esch, 1964:

Novices that follow the dancing bees can stop the dancers by eliciting a “Piep-Laut” (piping). A dancer which has already been accepted is attacked if it doesn’t stop moving during the “piping.” It is saved if it stops moving before being seized. If a tape recorder can produce this “piping” with sufficiently high volume in the hive, all the bees stand still during the emission of the “piping” . The “piping” is probably perceived through the vibration sense of the bees.

Zeitschrift fiir vergleichende Physiologie 48, 534—546 (1964)

I made a some videos of a virgin queen piping away this spring. Have a look. I’m not sure I pick up on the ‘freezing’. I was surprised to see such a clear retinue for a virgin, and they seem to pause as she pipes, but I don’t see any change in the other bees not immediately next to her.

Virgin Queen Piping

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