Posted by: Pam B. Newberry | December 31, 2010

Here’s to You in 2011!


Honey bees are social insects and were brought to America in the 1600s from their native homes of Europe and Asia. In a colony of honey bees you’ll find one queen and adult female worker bees numbering from 20,000 to 80,000, and about 5,000 male drones. The female worker bees are just that “workers”! They tend to the rearing of the brood, queen care, building the comb, constructing the nest, foraging, maintenance, honey production and storage, hive thermoregulation, and the all important colony defense.

Now, you might ask, what does the male drone do? No labor for one! Their only chore is to mate with the queen and then they die. Wow, what a life! Just as in the human world, a woman’s work is never done! The only joy out of learning this bit of honey bee biology is that if a male fails to mate with the queen, he is evicted from the nest in preparation for winter. Those female bees are very frugal. No need to feed a mouth that isn’t productive!

Saurabh Sinha, a professor of computer science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an affiliate of the university’s Institute for Genomic Biology says, “The honey bee (Apis millifera) has been called a model system for social behavior.” 1 This social system that the colony portrays is being studied by many. The team led by Sinha took this particular system and used it as a guide to help them search for social cues in the honey bee genome. In particular they were looking for “… a form of bee pressure that can cause bees to change jobs in response to needs of the hive.”1

Imagine, scientist are looking at the genome of honey bees in order to learn more about the social behavior of animals and by extension, humans. This is really amazing when you think about it. For the specifics of the research, you should read the article. It is amazing the amount of investigation has gone into learning about the social behavior of bees. The simplistic report of Sinha’s findings is the suggestion “…that honey bees will be useful in elucidating the mechanisms by which social factors regulate gene expression in brains, including those of humans. ” Looking at this from a human point-of-view, why not study humans for that aspect? I mean, I do wonder what makes people tick all the time, don’t you?

Here at the close of 2010, I wonder about a lot of things that are going on in our world. I wonder why

  • We don’t do more for our fellow human
  • We allow some of us to starve
  • We turn on each other
  • We shut loved ones out of our lives for no apparent reason
  • We allow our loved ones and friends to die alone
  • We can’t seem to forgive and forget
  • We are always looking out for what is best for ourselves

What happened to the golden rule? “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” Sounds like a good one. Evidently the honey bee is more adept at learning from its past than us humans. As it appears we are doomed to repeat it.

Let’s hope that 2011 brings more of the wise movements within the human colony of that of the honey bee hive

  • Work hard!
  • Provide a good home for our loved ones
  • Protect our home and loved ones
  • Give freely to others so they may enjoy the fruits of our labor
  • Willingly fight and die for a good cause 

Sounds like a good wish for 2011! Here’s to you and yours! Have a Magical Honey Bee Year!

Cover of Honey Bee Journal

Always with Cheers,
Hobbit Queen

1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006, October 24). Honey Bee Genome Holds Clues To Social Behavior. ScienceDaily.


Responses

  1. […] This is a post from a friend of mine – we took the Writers Digest University Blogging 101 class together. It’s not fantasy, but it’s relevant to us as writers. Honey bees are social insects and were brought to America in the 1600s from their native homes of Europe and Asia. In a colony of honey bees you'll find one queen and adult female worker bees numbering from 20,000 to 80,000, and about 5,000 male drones. The female worker bees are just that "workers"! They tend to the rearing of the brood, queen care, building the comb, constructing the nest, foraging, maintenance, honey production and storage, hi … Read More […]

    Like

  2. […] Here's to You in 2011! (via Miss Beehaven with Hobbit Queen) Posted on December 31, 2010 by Sandra Bell Kirchman This is a post from a friend of mine – we took the Writers Digest University Blogging 101 class together. It’s not fantasy, but it’s relevant to us as writers. Honey bees are social insects and were brought to America in the 1600s from their native homes of Europe and Asia. In a colony of honey bees you'll find one queen and adult female worker bees numbering from 20,000 to 80,000, and about 5,000 male drones. The female worker bees are just that "workers"! They tend to the rearing of the brood, queen care, building the comb, constructing the nest, foraging, maintenance, honey production and storage, hi … Read More […]

    Like

  3. What a great post, HQ! It has good research, interesting information, poses great questions, and offers relevant wishes for its readers. I too wonder if the human race will ever be as evolved as creatures like the honey bee. There is more than enough food on planet earth to feed every single man, woman and child. So why DO people go hungry?

    I hope you and HK had a lovely vacation and are all set for the new year. I predict that your blog is going to be a huge success in 2011 and that your honey bee project will keep you rolling in the honey…perhaps the dough too 🙂

    Like

    • Wow Sandra! Happy New Year to you! THANK you so MUCH for your feedback! You are so sweet for your prediction…sure hope you are right on! 🙂 Have an awesome January and here is wishing a wonderful 2011 for you, your family, and your blog, too!

      Like


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