Related species of bees also have the ability to communicate within their hives.

Some other members of the Apis genus are able to communicate with dance as well.  In the phylogenetic tree below, it can be seen that the closely related A. meliponini and A. apini both use dances to communicate distance and direction of food sources (Image: Alcock Figure 7.30).  

According to this tree, the dancing with distance and direction information (DDD) phenotype was either gained once and lost three times, or gained twice.  The closely related dancing with distance information (DD) phenotype is likely either a precursor to the DDD phenotype or a regressive phenotype that results when the DDD behavior is lost.  The more likely scenario involves the DDD phenotype evolving twice, both times from the DD precursor phenotype.  The complete phylogenetic map of the Apis genus and its  relatives has not yet been completely assembled, so at this point only general speculation on the evolution of the DDD phenotype can be done.  

More conclusive work on the behavioral phylogeny was recently done by comparing the behavioral phenotypes of two members of the Apis genus.  A close relative of the common honeybee, Apis florea,  was shown to be much more likely than A. mellifera to use the waggle dance if food was close.   A. mellifera reserves the waggle dance for when the food source is at least 20 meters away from the hive, usually using the simpler and less descriptive round dance if food is as many as 80 meters away (Sarma 2003).   As expected, this work establishes that the evolution of this behavior was probably a gradual acquisition of related traits rather than a sudden appearance of the fully developed behavior.

The above phylogenetic tree and Sarma's study suggest that the evolution of dancing behavior occurred in an ancestor of the common honeybee and its relatives.  While A. mellifera has the most complex phenotype, its relatives share some essential elements of this communication system.  

Further work in other social colony forming insects may show that the phenotype is more common than is currently known.