Bee Time, Mark L. Winston (2014)

First published: 2014.
Library copy published: 2014.

Bee Time, Mark L. Winston

“If there is one notable message from honeybees, it lies in the power of their collective response to stress, in the way they allocate work, communicate, make decisions, and balance individual activities with their communal imperatives. Our decision either to emulate honeybees by opting for the collective good or to pursue personal interests and individual gain may be the decisive factor in the success or failure of our response to contemporary environmental challenges.” p. 17

“Another common component is that diversity is key to success. Participatory democracy works best with a broad swatch of income, ethnic, age, gender and political representation. Similarly we have seen that honeybee colonies function optimally with worker bees representing an array of genetically based probabilities to perform particular task, as well as a wide range of ages available for work assignment.” p. 194

“We share with bees another facet of governance, the tragedy of chaos when events upend the peaceful order of a well functioning society. … This underlying potential for conflict is all the more remarkable considering the harmony that usually regins within the hive. It’s a reminder that the most cooperative of societies, even that of honeybees, can collapse into disorder and violence given the right circumstances.” p. 195