BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bees And Decision Making

The super-organism of the honey bee colony has the single purpose of survival, however success relies on individual bees making their own daily decisions about the many tasks at hand. They decide whether or not to linger in the hive to observe a new bee dance, how much attention to pay to it, whether or not to abandon a good source of food for a great one told about by their sister. If the dance indicates it is three times as good, she may continue on her own path, but five times as good is a deal maker. They decide whether to change jobs from water bearer to pollen collector. I watched two bees inch their way side by side to rescue a sister flipped over in a pool of salt water from our kayak boots. Later, a bee flipped over in the hive and immediately another bee picked her up and flung her unceremoniously outside! Decisions, decisions!

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