Hive Mind: Decision-Making Secrets of Bees

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The New Mexico Beekeepers Association is offering an amazing opportunity at our Annual meeting this weekend. How we as humans can learn to think like a bee!

The event is entitled: Hive Mind: Decision-Making Secrets of Bees.

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Dr. Thomas D. Seeley, will be joining our hive mind here in Albuquerque—to talk about bee communication, the honeybee’s social life and how the bee colony makes decisions together. His research has led him to write a number of books, including, Honeybee Democracy (2010)and Following the Wild Bee(2016).

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In recognition of his scientific contributions, he has been honored by an Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Scientist Award, awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences—but he writes that his “most important prizes by far are the discoveries that I have made about the inner workings of honey bee colonies.”

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We live in a time where it is imperative that we humans learn how to become the “hive mind”—a democratic society that is dedicated to the hive well-being now simply because this will become our future colony.

Time’s up. We can no longer afford to let the drones loll around, sucking the resources out of the community. We can no longer allow our young one’s future to be cannibalized by greed and the destruction of their dreams.

We must learn from our amazing winged relatives. And to do this takes time. We must sit at the feet of the wise ones in the natural world with open hearts, ready to have our minds changed.

Think like a bee. It’s time.

Bee there…

 

February 2-3rd: Registration at the door begins Friday at 12:00 pm

Admission is $30 membership to the NM Beekeepers Association

Location is the South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

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Tracking Africanized honeybees

Since I’m too lazy to write an in depth blog today, I will leave you with two very short amazing videos showing a unique collaboration between the natural world and humans. You will see tribal men on the trail to find the honey of Africanized bee hives.

You have to understand, in the western hemisphere we’re taught to destroy such hives. Africanized bees are a danger, we’ve been told. And it’s true. They are a force of nature to be respected, reckoned with and yes, not to be located near communities of people. But, they are here to stay, and currently intermixing with our European bees—making a very resilient strain of bees.

In Africa, they “woo” the bees with smoke and take the combs out bare handed.

Honey guides are amazing birds that provide a rare but mutually beneficial service to humans who want to locate a honeybee hive. In a fascinating exchange of language, you will see how human and bird work together.

How little we know about the natural world and the possibility for collaboration. How little we understand that animals are intelligent and sentient beings. But in these tribes, such mutual cooperation has been going on a loooooong time….

We in the west have so much to learn.

 

 

 

Big thanks to one of my bee teachers, Susan Clair, for these videos…she is currently working with Silver City, NM to pass a Bee City USA pollinator protection resolution.

 

 

Bee-come the Hive Mind

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In a blog entitled “Elites Don’t Understand Human Nature, But it’s Time They Learned” Joe Brewer , a complexity researcher who specializes in culture design explores the mess we are in as humanity.

He wonders at the fact that our society would allow the powers that be to destroy all that we hold valuable. In a 2016 blog post, Brewer writes:  ( and I’ll tell you, it’s worth reading the whole thing)

Here’s an amazing fact: It’s 2016 and humanity is collectively moving toward a future that nobody wants. We are literally going somewhere that will hurt every single one of us.

I have no clue what a cultural designer does, but his blog about elites, who continue to distance themselves from the rest of us with wealth, policies and politics that divide society and pretty much keep the economic pipelines flowing to the top 1% has alot of truth in it.

I wonder myself, almost every single day. How did we allow this to happen?

Instead of the better angels of our nature, we humans seem to be accelerating quickly to a cliff that we really don’t want to drive off.

Brewer actually has good words for humans.

Each of us is born precariously fragile from a mother’s womb. We would quickly die in those first few years if caregivers were not ever-present to feed us, wipe away our excrement, and protect us from harm. Human beings are deeply social creatures. We arise from the natural world and are profoundly immersed in webs of dependency from the first drawn breathe to the last wavering exhale.

The sciences of human nature tell us much more than this. Not only are we social beings, we are also deeply moral in nature.

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Time to take lessons again from the hive mind.  Like bees, we are deeply social creatures. It is in our nature to touch, to care for one another, to communicate, to belong. We need each other. We want to be a part of something bigger than our small selves. Working together for the common good brings great things to pass. It is mutually satisfying. Like bees, we humans are moral by nature in caring for the community, unless of course something goes horribly awry.

So what’s really going on here? Has something gone terribly awry?

Actually, I’m not sure elites in power ARE out of touch with human nature. They know all too well that a fully functional, healthy, whole community will bring about their downfall. It will not put up with their greedy, grabbing, profit driven ways. Splintering the ordinary masses by keeping us sick, impoverished, ignorant and in-fighting is in their best interests for power grabbing. United we stand, divided we fall. Works every time.

So, our work this year, more than ever, is not just to think like a bee but to become the hive mind—working together. Finding ways to connect the dots even across our divides. We cannot waste time over silly, stupid tweets and the ongoing drone of a media feeding frenzy over every single detail of this administration.

We must keep moving.

This year, thanks to the New Mexico Beekeepers Association, we will hear Dr. Tom Seeley speak about this “Hive Mind: Decision Making Secret of the Bees“. He is a bee researcher, particularly interested in their communication styles and communal decision making. He has written two incredibly timely books—–“Honeybee Democracy” (2010) and “Wisdom of the Hive” (1995). All are welcome to come to the events, February 2-3, 2018, at the Broadway cultural Center.

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I’ll see you there.

 

For the New Year…

It’s all I have to bring today –
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – should I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
(Emily Dickinson, 1830 – 1886)
The bees and land are resting through these long nights and short days. But it is a restless and troubled sleep. The days often rocket from 20 degrees Farenheit at night to high 50’s during the day. Bees buzz around confused, certain that warm temps signal food somewhere. I hear the sucking sound of the dry soil, desperate to replenish the dormant roots with water.
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There is no moisture. My friend tells me that Albuquerque has gone 90 days without any precipitation. In two days we will have broken the record of 91 days without moisture in 1917. New Mexicans are accustomed to living on the razor’s edge of drought. Still, the dryness becomes worrisome. We need a decent snowpack for a fighting chance to survive the fire season next summer. Even if my bees were to survive the wildly swinging temperatures, the parasites and emptying winter honey stores— without proper moisture their prospects for food this year will be greatly diminished.
Meanwhile, the eastern coast is hammered by a “bomb cyclone” and frigid temps.
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As the East battles wind chills of -100 degrees, the Midwest has plummeted to single digits. I can’t even imagine the bodies of wild creatures, warm blooded, fleshy and tiny against this arctic blast. They live without the comfort of heated homes to retreat into when the weather grows monstrously unpredictable.
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Something is not right. Everywhere we turn there are super storms, fires, droughts. We can no longer be  on the fence about climate change. It looms like a freight train, bearing down on this planet. It seems clear that we have passed  the point of no return. We don’t know what kinds of catastrophic or micro-climate changes are queued up for the new year.
And still. In this new year,  I will continue to bring myself and my heart to all this that I love—the meadows wide, the clover fields where the bee dwells, the beleaguered New Mexico rivers acequias and aquifers, with oil and gas frackers circling like vultures…
What is your heart calling you to do in this new year?
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