Posts Tagged ‘honey bees’

Are metaphors useful when real life intrudes on their original power as a pattern framer?

Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony Collapse Disorder

For instance (almost a decade ago) when I coined the term “Human Hive” as a metaphor for the living, evolutionary human system of the city, it predated many life events that have since occurred. Perhaps the appropriateness for using this biomimicry term to look at the city as a living system is outdated? These days, when I share my ideas about the Human Hive, a series of particular events have become frequent challengers to thinking about the city in the terms of a hive metaphor.  Those most disturbing events have become known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

This is the alarming phenomenon that is endangering the honey beehives. The result of the syndrome is simple enough to describe – the majority of the honeybees abandon the hive and do not return. They apparently lose their carrying capacity to sustain themselves, the hive and contribute to the wellbeing of their eco region (through pollination).Why honey bees do this is as mystifying as it is disturbing. Scientists do not have consensus on whether the fault is the neoconitide pesticides that were introduced in the last decade (and are now being made illegal in many countries); loss of diversity in the gene pool; mites; changes in the environment – both man-made and natural; loss of flower habitat; and/or all of the above.

However, Colony Collapse Disorder has not dissuaded me from considering apis millifera – the honey bee – a worthy teacher. (In fact, cities in the Middle East may well be going through the equivalent Human Hive disintegration, as migrants pour out of their borders and seek sanctuary in European cities?)

But one of my deep consolations, is that the bee as a species, is 100 million years old and has adapted to every geography on earth. Entomological evidence indicates that CCD has happened before and the trusty bee has survived, adapted and continued to thrive. The most recent recommendations I have read about treating CCD is for humans to stop interfering by applying technological solutions and let the most advanced species of the invertebrates – for that is what the honey bee is considered to be – to let apis mellifera get on with developing its own solution to CCD.

As human migrants swarm out of one endangered city or country they are creating life conditions where the Human Hives they target become endangered themselves because of their own lack of carrying capacity. But as homo sapiens sapiens is supposed to be the most intelligent vertebrate on earth I wonder what natural intelligence we must release in order to overcome and/or avoid the human version of Colony Collapse Disorder that our invertebrate cousins the bees are hopefully figuring out how to do? As a radical optimist I think I will continue with the Human Hive metaphor, confident that Life’s Evolutionary Intelligence can see us through.

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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Reinventing Organizations at the second tier rests on a core organizational process that is centered on Purpose.

On Purpose Organizations - What if They Connected?

On Purpose Organizations – What if They Connected?

When organizations are seen as living entities within an evolutionary worldview, it is natural that they discover the Purpose that they are alive to serve. Organizationally they are answering the question: How does our organization serve what customers, located where, for what Purpose?

This Purpose emerges from fitting the organization’s function to serve a larger ecology of organizations. Such an ecology is usually called an “economy”, but from Integral City’s perspective this ecology is the city itself. The ecology is made up of the 4 Voices of the City dynamically interacting with each other as an evolutionary living system.

If we are using the fractal patterns of living systems to notice the scaling role of Purpose, we can see that at the micro-scale, individuals within the city also enact a Purpose. (We have written about the interconnections of Purpose, Passion, Priorities and Prosperity here.)

When we tap into the wisdom of living systems through the science of biomimicry, we can relate Purpose at the macro or city scale – what I call the “Human Hive” – to the function that the beehive serves within its eco-regional ecology. The beehive seems to have evolved the Purpose of pollinating and recycling the biological energy sources from which it gathers the raw ingredients (nectar and pollen) to produce the 40 pounds of honey that it needs to sustain itself.

Within the city, organizations emerge at the meso-scale, because individuals organize themselves to serve a Purpose together. At the second tier evolutionary stage, Laloux suggests that, the organization is not merely formed to work for efficiencies, effectiveness, productivity or social enterprise – but for a Purpose that is evolutionary.

Laloux proposes that organizations with a second tier Purpose act as if competition is irrelevant. So-called competitors – aka other organizations – have their own Purposes. All can co-exist in the organizational ecology/economy to pursue Purposes that support life.

We can notice organizations have entered this stage of evolution, when we see that most people in the organization are acting as sensors (to the inner and outer environments). They are asking the question – What is happening in here and out there that we need to be aware of? Individual actions are subsumed into large group processes – where collective intelligence can emerge and we discover that the multiple sensors, sensing each other, expand the base of intelligence that we work from.

Within organizations who are operating on Purpose, individual inner intelligence-processes are encouraged and enabled through shared cultural practices like meditations, guided visualizations, visioning and values discoveries.

At the same time the organization becomes spontaneously able to respond to requests and prompts from the outside world. This happens at every level of the organization because the Purpose is a shared intelligence throughout the organization.

When I consider the possibility of many organizations working on Purpose within a city, it becomes conceivable that they might work together towards an even higher Purpose. What would happen if many organizations within the city, discovered they could embrace a Purpose for the city itself?

What are the evolutionary stages that individual cities progress through in order to discover that they serve an evolutionary Purpose that might be in service to the whole Planet (and in fact, a whole Planet of cities)?

Can we reinvent cities to serve such a planetary life-giving Purpose, without Reinventing Organizations with a Purpose, who then connect with each other through a group Purpose, as a necessary precursor to seeding On-Purpose cities?


This blog continues an exploration of what we can learn if we applied some of Laloux’s ideas from Reinventing Organizations to recalibrating the complexity of the city.

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What is the equivalent for the Human Hive of producing 40 pounds of honey in the bee hive?

That is the question that I have been inquiring into through the lenses of bio-psycho-cultural-social-mimicry.

Honey Bee Ingredients

In the generative seed bed of my recent visit to San Francisco, glimpses of the ingredients for producing “Honey” in our Human Hive  Honey have emerged. It has to do with the conjunction of Passion, Priority, Purpose and Prosperity.

I have learned that it is the symbiotic relationship of the Bee Hive’s survival (or thrival) through Pollination of Plant Life that meets their need to survive and thrive. Bee Hives can “measure” their success through the production of 40 pounds of honey per year. This symbiotic relationship generates enough Energy (aka Prosperity) to not only fulfil their Purpose but to create renewable energy sources for next year.

Human Hive Honey

In the Human Hive – our thriving arises from feeling fully alive – this Passion is expressed as Joy. Our great Purpose arises from the fulfilment of Caring Service to the world’s Priorities or Needs. This is just as much a symbiotic relationship with Gaia, as the bees have with her plants. What is more, it generates the same kind of Energy (which we call Prosperity) that rewards us for acting from Joy and creates renewable Energy to continue to meet Gaia’s bio-psycho-cultural-social Needs on an ongoing cycle.

It seems to me these ingredients and the recipe for making Honey in the Human Hive are fractal – that is they occur at every level of  scale in the Human Hive (individual, family, organization, neighbourhood, city).

Human Hive Honey_Page_3

It is the fundamental energy equation of the Master Code:

  • To Care for Ourselves (through Passion/Joy)
  • To Care for Others (in living our Purpose in service to Priorities/Needs)
  • To Care for this Place (as a natural result of Prosperity)
  • To Care for this Planet (as we align the Prosperity engine around Gaia’s wellbeing Needs)

Is this too simple?? Maybe just a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious)? Maybe just another step along the path for Human Hives to achieve the double sustainability system that the honey bee hives have created in their service to Gaia?

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It’s an honour and privilege to celebrate the inauguration of HUB Oakland, on this Easter weekend (march 29, 2013).

Hub Oakland

In Canada this Good Friday, is a statutory holiday. Here in California, today it will be remembered as the opening of something very special – the HUB will be generating energy that will wake up all of Oakland in the years to come.

Thank you for asking me to join you in your integral celebration. Thanks to David for leading us in Qi Gong and opening up our whole chi energy system. Thanks to Mark Fabionar for sharing the success of HUB Sonoma State U – Honoring the Past. Uniting the Present. Building the Future.

HUB Sonoma State U

Thanks to Lisa Chacon, Konda Mason and Ed Street for inspiring us with HUB’s vision and plans for structures to serve its Purpose. Thanks for sharing that the HUB’s job is to nurture Joy – What Makes You Truly Alive. Your video also mentionned how different this is than focusing on the World’s Greatest Needs. But I wonder what would happen if everyone coming to the HUB could notice the intersection of their Greatest Joy and the World’s Greatest Needs? There, I believe, is the sweet spot of everyone’s Purpose!! And tonight I’d like to talk to you about the mysterious connection between Great Purpose,Great Need and Great Joy.

A Great Purpose

My name is Marilyn Hamilton, and I am most well known for my book Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. That is my purpose – I wake up the Human Hive!!

Let me hold up a cover so that you can see the lineage that I come from – that we all come from. You can see Gaia in the context of our Solar System, Galaxy and the Universe. She has birthed all geographies and Life on earth – including our eco-regions and all its plants and animals – including us Human Beings. In turn we have birthed our families, clans, kingdoms, nations and states. We have co-created the cities – which I call Human Hives.

I call cities Human Hives, taking instruction from another species – the Honey Bee. Apis Mellifera is the most intelligent species on the branch of the Tree of Life called the Invertebrates. Homo Sapiens is supposed to be the most intelligent species on the branch called the Vertebrates.

Now Honey Bees as a species are a 100 million years old. We as a species are only 100,000 to 1 million years old (depending on whose metrics you use). And Honey Bees have populated every geography on Earth with their bee hives. So I have been wondering what might we learn from a species that is 100 million years old that might not only sustain us, or create thriving cities – but contribute as much to all of Earth’s species as the Honey Bee does.

This morning I was walking with Alex&er Laszlo, Chair of ISSS, on the powerful land of IONS Earthrise in Petaluma. He said to me, ” You know all the species in all of the ecologies of the world know what the bee contributes to everyone’s wellbeing. Now, I am asking,‘What does the human species contribute that supports the whole?'”.

This is a powerful question that ties in with my admiration of the honey bees. For each hive must produce 40 pounds of honey a year in order to support a hive of about 50,000 bees. But in achieving that goal, year after year those bees pollinate the plants in the fields, around the globe, that produce $90 billion worth of food that humans consume each year (and we don’t even count the ways that other species also benefit). And that cycle of harvesting pollen and nectar, pollinating plants and producing honey, is a double sustainability cycle where the bees are creating renewable energy that supports them in the following year. This is an exponentially greater contribution to sustainability of global ecosystems – because it not only serves the bees, but the whole eco-region on which they depend.

The question I ask is “What is the equivalent of the bees’ 40 pounds of honey for the Human Hive?”.

Bee 40 lb honey - Tijmen Brozius1

A major hint of the answer has been given by James Lovelock who developed the Gaia Hypothesis – that the Earth is a living, self-regulating system. I heard him interviewed by a reporter who asked in a very disdainful voice. “Well I guess you don’t have a very high opinion of humans with all the damage they have done to the Earth?”. Lovelock countered with considerable vigour, “On the contrary,humans are Gaia’s reflective organ!” It is just that as a species we are very young – hardly teenagers in comparison with the 100 million year old honey bee. As reflective organs we have a lot of evolutionary maturing ahead of us.

In fact, I suggest that humans as individuals are cells in Gaia’s reflective Human Hive organs – and these reflective organs are like nodes on a planetary meridian system – our Planet of Cities. It is cities or Human Hives that are actually Gaia’s reflective organs. And those too are at very early stages of maturity – in comparison to what they could be. Because most of our sustainability paradigms focus only on sustaining ourselves, and not on the symbiotic relationship that the bees have established, with their capacity to co-create renewable energy.

Now if the bees as the most intelligent species of the invertebrates, can do that, I ask, why cannot the most intelligent species of the vertebrates also accomplish that? Especially with our distinctive capacity to be reflective organs? Organs that can multiply reflective capacity through both individual and collective consciousness and culture?? Organs that live by what I call the Master Code: Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other and Take Care of this Place.

So those are the kind of questions I am asking myself about the “Evolutionary Intelligences of the Human Hive”.

When I first wrote my book, I imagined my readers would come from the “progressive” thinking in cities on the west coast of North America and northern Europe. And so do many invitations to speak in academic settings affirm that audience. But much to my surprise, invitations have also come from cities in the Developing World – Mexico, South Africa and even Russia. (My book has been translated into Russian and Korean this year.) When I first received those invitations, I was not sure how to respond – whether I was the right person to do this kind of work in those challenging (and challenged) locations?

A Great Need

Then an experience in my personal life, changed my whole perspective about how I do my work in cities. Two years ago my brother, Richard, called me and told me that he had been suffering (silently) from lymphoma for 11 years. (This is a cancer of the blood, related to leukemia, that destroys your immune system by attacking your white blood cells.) Richard had completed many rounds of chemo, and all possible treatment modalities except one – a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. He needed a sibling donor (as they have the most likely blood markers) and asked if I would do that for him. I was shocked!! This is one of those times, when one’s IOU to the Universe, to serve at the highest and best use, is called in for payment!! With considerable trepidation, I agreed to go for the tests to see if we were a match. I was a 10 out 10. (My friends said that was typical – I am an overachiever!!).

Another friend did some subtle energy work with me and told me my lineage from both sides of my family were so happy that I would do this. But best of all – my blood cells were intoxicated with delight, that they were going to have an out of body experience!! That totally cracked me up – just to think I had a scheduled date for an OBE!! Still, both Richard and I knew that there were no guarantees with this treatment – it only created the conditions for his own system to re-gain the strength to re-balance his immune system and start producing his own white and red blood cells again. It might take months to do this. It might take years. It might take the rest of his life. Or it might not take at all. Basically, it came down to – nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I wasn’t sure I could do this – and if I did, I knew I couldn’t do it alone – so, I told my brother I asked for three conditions:
1. I needed to ask my sangha to support me (and they did).
2. I would send him not just my blood but every mindful condition for health and wellbeing I could infuse directly and non-locally into my transplant.
3. I needed to ask him to stop working at the successful entrepreneurial venture he had created as a second career choice. He had traded in his music career for a high-tech welding operation. I asked my brother as a condition of the transplant not to return to this “job from hell”. If he was going to live, then I asked him to go back to his first love – to live for his music – not to let the music die in him.

He agreed. And he wrote me (and his wife Jean) the symphony “Appaloosa” (now playing here).

So we did the transplant. 36 hours and 13 complete transfers of my whole blood system through a centrifuge machine to collect 2 bags of stem cells that took 50 minutes to be transplanted into Richard’s bloodstream. On transplant day plus one, his positive indicators shot through the roof. We were all elated. And that was a good thing – because we needed that first blast of success to see us through the weeks and months ahead of us where his fight for survival was as demanding as you can imagine – where death seemed like the only realistic thing to plan for. And at the end of six months, that is what we all expected. But it turns out those stem cells were not prepared to stop living their purpose. They were intent on doing the magic that these primal cells can do – and they were busy colonizing Richard’s bone marrow to such an extent that his own body’s immune system kicked back into life. Just when Richard thought the doctors were going to tell him all hope was gone, they told him: “You better stop preparing to die – and start preparing to live!!! Most of your misery is now caused by graft-host disease!! Your body’s immune system is fighting your sister’s stem cells. That’s what we wanted to see because it means your body is exerting its own sovereignty and energy.”

Richard went through many ups and downs in the last year. Little did we know the power of this stem cell transplant, meant that his whole blood type converted into my blood type (and all the other organs in his body had to make that adjustment!! He changed from a personality subject to SAD syndrome to my radically optimistic personality (one of those little extras that I said I’d send along for the ride).

Fast forward one year – just 2 weeks ago. Richard has been in a slump and once again feeling like this whole risk has been for naught. The docs sit him down and this time the news is: “You are cancer free!!”. Imagine, after 13 years being told he is cancer free!! He called me up overjoyed and a little amazed. I was ecstatic!! I share it with you this Easter weekend, as a true story of commitment, faith, deliverance and hope. A true Easter message that we can celebrate here at the HUB’s opening.

A Great Joy

So, this is a very long story that I said helped me understand how to look at my work differently. It helped me understand that when I align my Greatest Joy to Great Need, my Purpose is easily expressed. It also helped me realize that the Master Code – Taking care of yourself is the pre-requisite to being able to take care of others, so that we all can take care of this place and this planet.

I have come to imagine myself as a stem cell when I go into challenging and challenged places. My Purpose is to transplant the primal capacities for the habitat to grow strong enough to take care of itself. The first job I have is to Turn Up on Purpose. The second is to be Present to Joy – both mine and the people in the city I am working with – so I can hear and witness what the system’s next natural evolutionary step, most needs. The third is to respond appropriately with the appropriate gift to strengthen the existing system. The last step is at once the simplest and the hardest – it is to let go of results. Just like I had to let my stem cells do their work in my brother’s bloodstream, I must let the people in the Human Hive grow capacities for themselves. So they can discover, what is the way they can produce their 40 pounds of honey to look after themselves, each other, the city, the eco-region and even the planet.

Planet of Cities

As HUB Oakland opens its doors in our City of Planets, I affirm and invite all the magic that will happen here because your Purpose is to create a habitat for what Makes People Fully Alive. Everyone in the HUB are the stem cells for the Reflective Organ – the Human Hive of Oakland. You are really living your Purpose with the Master Code. You are co-creating all the conditions to model how – Taking care of yourself will enable all of you, working together, to take care of each other, so that you can take care of this place and our planet.

Participating in HUB Oakland is the key to Great Joy and a requisite ingredient to co-generating Oakland’s 40 pounds of honey!!

Congratulations. Happy Easter. And JOY to HUB Oakland!!

(This was my keynote to HUB Oakland’s Opening Night, March 29, 2013)

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When was the last time you got really involved in an election? What role did you play? Voter or Election Candidate or Supporter?


If you want to navigate the outcomes of elections, the usual injunctions include:

  • Follow the money
  • Vote with your feet
  • Mark an X on the ballot.

But if you are running for election in a city-centric office,  how can you develop an election platform for the  Human Hive based on city wellbeing and sustainability? How can you create the conditions for an interactive conversation about new ways of designing, supporting and fulfilling election platforms that make a difference to the health and wealth of our cities?

These are some of the questions I asked early this month, in a circle, called by a community think tank, encouraging women to become electoral candidates.

After a lively introduction from one of my former RRU graduate students, I asked people to introduce themselves and tell me what Voice they represented in the city. When all 20 had checked in we found that everyone brought the voice of the Cityzen – and we had about the 7-9 voices from each of Civil Society, City Managers and Business.

We then ventured into the realm of storytelling – and I related the story of the Honey Bee – with its energizing focus on:

  • Goal – produce 40 pounds of honey per year in order for the hive to survive
  • Role – act as a symbiotic team, where five key Roles contribute to achieving the Goal:
    • Producers – (voice of the Cityzen) gather the nectar and pollen and produce the honey
    • Entrepreneurs – (voice of the business/innovators) source new resources and keep the Producers advised of all options
    • Administrators – (voice of the City Managers) allocate resources to reward effective performance
    • Integrators – (voice of the Civil Society/Integrators) integrate all the other Roles for the achievement of the Hive Goal and survival
    • Competitors – (voice of the other Hives in the same eco-region) ensure that the best survival strategies emerge and sustain the species
  • Soul – respond to what is really important. What do we value as individuals and as a Hive?

As the dialogue started to unfold we were able to ask ourselves some interesting questions:

  • In the Human Hive – what is the equivalent goal of the 4o pounds of honey that we must produce in a year? How do we honour the power of human consciousness and culture in setting goals for City wellbeing and survival?

How do the Roles in the Hive relate to the Voices in the city? (We marked them above in brackets.)

Just as we seemed to be on a “radically optimistic roll”,  a strain of criticism and negativity started to creep into the conversation. I interjected a state-shifting question: “Would you like to try an experiment?”  Yes, they agreed!!  Turning to the person beside them, I asked them to each tell this story:

Tell me about a time when you were really involved or excited about an election? Who was there? Why were you excited? Where was it? When?

The room burst into noisy and positive exchange. I could hardly call them back above the din.  But when I did, I asked each conversation dyad to identify three values they saw in their stories. Quickly again the room exploded … and we were subsequently able to fill a flip chart with the values that had engaged them:

Listening, Caring, Sharing, Giving back, Recognition, Community, Supporting, Growing, Genuine Curiosity, Multiple Generations, Linking Across Cultures, Working for Something they Believed in, Imagining the Future

In a flash we saw that these values revealed the Souls of the election process. We had easily jumped from the depressing consideration of no new candidates or no positive slates for future elections, to recognizing that Cityzens (just like the bees) are always casting their ballots before, during and after elections – somehow trying to survive even without clear Goals, Roles or Souls.

The Think Tank realized they had discovered how framing elections in the context of Goals, Roles and Souls Changes “Business as Usual”!

And their lively exploration of Goals, Roles and Souls also revealed the reality of the Master Code:

  • Take care of ourselves
  • so we can … Take care of each other
  • so we can …Take care of this place
  • so we can … Take care of this planet.

And before we could enjoy our cup of tea and cookies, the circle insisted that we identify the topic of their next dialogue. That was easy … everyone wanted to know:

How can we imagine the future of our City?

Thanks to the invitation from the Women’s Think Tank, Mission BC, for the opportunity to explore this topic in dialogue with a circle of all the 4 Voices of the city.

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Ecosphere intelligence is an awareness and capacity to respond to the realities of a city’s climate and eco-region environment. Just as honey bees adapt themselves to different geographies, Integral Cities in different locations must adapt different solutions to the same infrastructure problems.

Ecosphere intelligence is fundamental to our energy security, food security and water security. If we approached Earth from outer space looking for ideal locations for cities we would need to take into consideration how different are the ways that cities of the seaside, cities of the mountains and cities of the plains could invent infrastructure to supply these basic needs.

Each geography on earth has ecosystems that are constrained by nine planetary boundaries that contribute to our sustainability: climate change, ozone depletion, atmospheric aerosol, ocean acidity, freshwater consumption, chemical pollution, biodiversity, nitrogen flow and phosphorus flow . Johan Rockstrom and his colleagues have examined how these interdependent boundaries are now in a state of unbalanced tension.

Rees and Wackernagel have long ago proposed that our eco-footprint must be respected if our cities are to be sustainable. The eco-footprint honours the planetary reality of our metabolic resource flows and the limitations that both local boundaries and global realities impose.

An Integral City lives sustainably not just from resources taken from the environment, but because appropriate resources are intentionally returned to the environment. Thus a self-supporting seasonal feedback loop should operate.

Developing ecosphere intelligence starts with a wake-up call for cities to measure their resource consumption and equivalent land displacements to realize the extent to which they borrow natural capital from both surrounding and distant geo-bio regions, which depletes the planetary natural capital account.  A planet of cities is called to develop a strategy to recycle our natural capital (or even improve it).


This blog is a prologue to the Integral City webinar conference  City 2.0 Co-Creating the Future of the Human Hive . We are inventing a new operating system for the city.  Click to get more details re the Free Expo and eLaboratory membership  scheduled September 4-27  2012. You are invited to attend and participate.

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This blog is the fourth prologue for a keynote at the FreshOutlook Feb. 27, 2012 Building SustainABLE Communities Conference.

An Integral City is a complex adaptive human system that concentrates habitat for humans like a bee hive does for bees.

Let me tell you about why I am attracted to the story of the human hive. I adapted it from the story of the honey bee, told by Howard Bloom — he discovered that the honey bee developed a strategy for individual adaptation, hive innovation and species resilience.

Do you know that the Honey Bee (apis mellifera) is 100 million years old?  That is 10 to 100 times the age of our species. The Honey Bee is also the most advanced species of the branch of the Tree of Life called the invertebrates. We are supposed to be the most advanced species  of the branch called the vertebrates. So with those credentials I wonder if the Honey Bee species has something to teach the human species?

 A bee hive has about 50,000 bees in it – about the size of a small city. And since many if not most of you work to performance goals, do you realize that a honey beehive also has a goal? It must produce a certain amount of honey per year in order to survive — about 40 pounds per year.

So a beehive has a clear sustainability objective for the hive, measured in terms of energy production.

How do bees obtain the raw materials to produce honey? They do this by creating 5 roles within the hive – not the usual suspects most of us are familiar with like drones and queens. No, no these roles have much more purpose and innovation to them:

About 90% of the hive are Conformity Enforcers (CE). Their job is to fly to flower patches and harvest as much nectar and pollen as they can. They use the “waggle dance” form of communication to let sister bees know where to find the resources. When 90% of the hive is doing the same dance – it’s like a Rock & Roll rave — the energy produced attracts a lot of attention and reinforces successful finds.
About 5% of the hive are Diversity Generators (DG). Their job is to fly to different flower beds than the Conformity Enforcer’s. As a result their waggle dance contains different information – more like an Irish Jig than Rock & Roll??. When the Conformity Enforcer’s are at peak performance the Diversity Generator’s are not noticed because their communication is drowned out by the Conformity Enforcer “rave”.
However — a small per cent of the hive are Resource Allocators (RA). Their job  is to reward the performance of Conformity Enforcer and Diversity Generator bees. When Conformity Enforcer performance lags (after depleting the resources in one flower patch), Resource Allocator’s withhold rewards until the point that Conformity Enforcer bees are not only de-energized — they become downright depressed. You can imagine them walking around completely bummed out – the party is over – btw, they can measure depression in bees by measuring their pheromones.  Eventually when the Conformity Enforcer’s energy is lowest, they finally take note of the Diversity Generator Irish Jig (communication) and switch their resourcing flights to new locations.
An even smaller per cent of the hive are Inner Judges (IJ). Some say this is even a hive intelligence. The Inner Judge’s work with Resource Allocator’s to assess and reward performance, so that the hive can achieve its sustainability goals.
The fifth role is a whole hive role – it is created through Inter-group Tournaments (IT). This role actually emerges from the competition between hives within the bee’s eco-region; i.e. the territory they share with other hives competing for the same resources.

These five roles create a resilience strategy that depends on performance and innovation to support the hive and the species. But the bees have taken their sustainability strategy beyond the hive to scale at the regional level of resilience.  Because of course as they gather resources for themselves, they pollinate their eco-region, thereby creating energy renewal for next year. This means the bees have developed a double sustainability loop that supports hive survival AND regenerates the energy resources in their eco-region. The Inter-group tournaments operate at the level of species survival – ensuring any hive that gets an edge in the innovation and evolution curve is the one most likely to survive and pass on its learning.

In terms of sustainability, I wonder when homo sapiens sapiens will innovate sustainability strategies that will embrace performance goals and replenish the resources we use to sustain our human hive and thereby add value to the earth, as effectively as the honey bee?


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