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Bees at work (X): The wisdom of bees applied to human societies.

Have a beautiful second week of February 2022. Last Friday we posted about the 5 takeaways that Professor Thomas Seeley inferred from his research about decision making when the scout-bees perform house-hunting as a swarm.  Today is about the wrap-up of this whole exercise of learning about the bees. Then during the rest of the saga, we will re-visit some of the bees’ adventures, so you will never forget the honeybees for the rest of your life.

Photo not used for commercial purposes, only educational.

Eleonora Escalante Strategy was touched by the honeybees’ story, not only because it is fascinating to witness and learn how the investigation and detailed observation unfolds the beauty of the unknown; but also because Seeley´s experiments demonstrate how vital is to understand first. Studying first is crucial. To learn from each and all of the species on the planet, in order to accomplish our role as administrators and caregivers of it. Each community of species has its own nature, its own challenges to survive in the context of climate change struggles and obstacles. Nothing that we do in our society is isolated from other species populations.  No matter what group you can think of in the fauna or flora, it could be insects (as the bees or wasps), or whales, or elephants, or jaguars, or hippos, or giraffes, or lions… all animals (and plants) have been crushed by the consequences of our lack of vision when manufacturing and selling our products/services. The pollution and contamination are not reduced to the utilization of oil and gas for our transportation requirements; it is about pesticides; it is about the approval and financing of wrong-business models; it is about accepting algorithms of artificial intelligence instead of human wisdom; it is about excessive greed with communication technologies infrastructure in the space and on earth, and it is about lack of understanding. We are reaping off the consequences of our ignorance.

Photo not used for commercial purposes, only educational.

The understanding of climate change doesn´t stop in preoccupation provoked by observing the current chaos. This understanding must transcend to action, must exceed our worries and anguishes, it must ignite hope. And faith too. This acquaintance is a wake-up call to open our minds to a new manner of doing things. It is about time to ask ourselves how much we know of each species (fauna and flora) and if we don´t know, it is time to dedicate resources, money, or a pool of research funds for understanding the species in the current context of climate change. We require studious people, we urgently need new PhDs doing research everywhere, as much as Seeley did it. Only by understanding each species, we will begin our path to the veracity of comprehending that animals (and plants) are shifting from being solely self-sufficient to gather their own food supplies, to become dependent on humans for their continued existence. In the case of the bees, it is also important to be grateful to the beekeeping industry. The beekeepers’ worries were the trigger to act, to protect the honeybees. And the research from men as Seeley has helped them enormously.

Honeybees are codependent on humans. Just to learn that honeybees are now being fed with sugar to survive is shocking. Just to learn that without beekeepers, our honeybees would have been vanished or at risk of extinction a long time ago. The fact that beekeepers have been caring by transporting the hives to find flowers for them is a signal that honeybees are now much mutually dependent or codependent on humans than ever. Any threat to beekeeping represents a threat to agriculture, specifically to the production of fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables. According to the USDA, the commercial production of more than 90 crops relies on bee pollination. “About one-third of the food eaten by Americans comes from crops pollinated by honeybees, including apples, melons, cranberries, pumpkins, squash, broccoli, and almonds, to name just a few”. Without the industrious honeybee, your dinner plates would be just empty.

For example, let´s mention the case of California´s Central Valley. As you may have observed, 80% of the world´s almonds grow there. California almond growers rely exclusively on honeybees for crop pollination, which requires more than 1.8 million hives (2 hives per acre). The almond farmers require hives to accomplish their mission of yielding almonds for us. California almond cultivators have reported the shortage of bees, have informed us that the availability of hive colonies has become limited, and the costs of maintaining the colonies have increased.  Even though the almond growers of California are aware and taking measures to help to renovate the lost colonies, they are unable to control de amount of cross pesticides or pathogens from other nearest crops that kill them. For almond farmers, the bees are a treasure, and they pay sometimes 5x for the use of honeybees to pollinate their crops.

The fauna and the flora are interconnected. There aren´t enough pure (pure understood as free of pathogens, free of pesticides, free of diseases) countryside flowers to keep honeybees alive. The same happens with us. I dare to affirm, that our flora is so sick, that is affecting human health. The same happens with the bees. And when we learn and understand these facts, that is the breakthrough for corrective actions. Only when we learn to recognize it is when we can overcome our ignorance and unconsciousness. Just to realize that what bees eat, breathe or drink is killing them is enough reason to wake up. Just to discern that the Internet radiations and wave frequencies are affecting the senses of bees when they do forage or house-hunting; that is enough reason to rethink the premises of the Internet in our civilization.  Until these past recent decades (the 1980s), animals always had their own collection routines for food & subsistence, and they organized their living, migrations, and reproduction gatherings to accomplish the cycles of their feedstuff alone, without any of our input and help. Nowadays, more and more, animals are starving. Animals are sick because they have no food, they have diseases, or eat adulterated or fouled inputs. The bees are suffering because of a deficiency of healthy queens. Because there are queen issues of poor performance reproduction that are leading to the loss of honey bee colonies too. Their foraging activities do not provide enough, and if they find supply, this provision is limited, polluted, nauseous, and poisoned with pesticides, plastics, or with the new viruses, bacteria, fungus, etc.

Humans have not solved the issue of feeding the whole community of humans yet. And if we don´t change our ways of living, we won´t be able to help animals either. It seems to us that the trend for the future will be that without our aid, many species won’t be able to subsist alone. So, we have double trouble now: to feed humans, and to nourish animals. Humans still have not solved the problem of extreme poverty and lack of food in more than 42 countries (see slide below); how are we going to help the animals? Ironically most countries in famine or hunger are located in Africa, the place where the wildest and most exotic of our fauna/flora is also residing.

The wisdom of the bees applied to human societies is so straightforward. Only when humans study the wisdom of the species, only then we can wake up to comprehend. And only when we begin to apprehend and cognize the reality of chaos in which we live, we will begin to act accordingly to propose resolutions to solve. It is time to set ourselves in motion to protect our planet, isn´t it?

If you wish to print the slides, click here please:

In our next post, we will continue with theme number 10: Homo Sapiens history of work – our past. Now we will proceed with our music section for today.

Strategic reflection music section:

Why did we pick Dario Marianelli? Not sure if you know that I adore piano solos music. It is something I learned to enjoy since I was a child and teenager (I played piano and organ for several years). Dario Marianelli has composed wonderful original pieces in which the piano is the core protagonist. And that is how my ears discovered him.

Dario’s film scores include ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ (2021), ‘The Secret Garden’ (2020), ‘Pinocchio’ (2019), ‘Bumblebee’ (2018), ‘Paddington 2’ (2017), ‘Darkest Hour’ (2017), ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ (2016), Everest (2015), ‘The Boxtrolls’ (2014), ‘Anna Karenina’ (2012), ‘Jane Eyre’ (2011), ‘Salmon Fishing In The Yemen’ (2011), ‘Eat Pray Love’ (2010), ‘The Soloist’ (2009), ‘Agora’ (2009), ‘Atonement’ (2007), ‘V for Vendetta’ (2006) and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (2005). Dario won the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Ivor Novello Award in the Best Original Score category for the award-winning film ‘Atonement’, for which he also won the World Soundtrack Award and was BAFTA nominated. I got to know Marianelli´s works for his music to Joe Wright´s “Pride and Prejudice” around 15 years ago. With “Anna Karenina”, Marianelli prepared a symphonic combo of genuine value. His multiple awards and nominations make him worthy of our recognition. We expect more captivating works from him in the decades to come.

Song for today: We have picked the song “Easy Lover” from Phil Collins. Three versions of the same song are below: The first one is the original video (Phil Bailey, also a composer arises there). The second is a live concert in Paris (‘Dance into the Light’ tour in 1997). The third one is the interpretation by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1990). Enjoy!

Thank you for reading to me. See you next Friday. Blessings!

See you next Friday, with a new episode of “Bees at work”

Sources of reference used for this publication


Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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