There is one common misunderstanding about the inner operations of a honeybee colony that I must dispel at the outset, namely that a colony is governed by a benevolent dictator, Her majesty the Queen. The belief that a colony’s coherence derives from an omniscient queen (or king) telling the workers what to do is centuries old, tracing back to Aristotle and persisting until modern times. But it is false. What is true is that a colony’s queen lies at the heart of the whole operation, for a honeybee colony is an immense family consisting of the mother queen and her thousands of progeny. It is also true that the many thousands of attentive daughters (the workers) of the mother queen are, ultimately, all striving to promote her survival and reproduction. Nevertheless, a colony’s queen is not the royal Decider.
All their decisions ranging from finding food sources, new homes, queen rearing are democratic decisions!
Honeybees make decisions collectively – and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley’s pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.
In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together–as a swirling cloud of bees–to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader’s influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.
An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.
Author Seeley in this book, beautifully compares honeybee colony with neurons in brain. Our brain, our body also works in democratic manner!
In the Harivamnsa Purana Sri Krishna says:
nechChAmyanashitaM draShTuM kR^ishaM malinameva cha |
dehIti chaiva yAchantaM nagaryAM nirdhanaM naram ||2-58-63||
“I do not want to see anyone in the city-state emaciated and pale without food, –
A pauper, who keeps on uttering, Please give.”
Krishna’s aim of life, was greatest happiness of greatest number (wellness of all) or holistic utilitarianism.
Being a Krishna believer/follower/Bhakt, what is your aim in life? Do you work like your ideal or just blabber here and there?
PS: Krishna dream of a society that prospers with the utilitarian goals. The utilitarianism of Sri Krishna, however, does not concern material ends only. He wants to build a system where the ethics of justice is in wide practice, firmly based on the spiritual state of harmony and equilibrium.
(From : prachodayat.in)