Voting for Bees

By Ol’ Drone

Our American form of government, crafted by our Constitution, is not perfect. But history has shown that it is far better than any other form. Our Bill of Rights assures our citizens ample opportunity and freedom not found anywhere else. This is why millions of immigrants risk their lives to sneak into our country.

I am convinced however that we could improve our system if only we would pay attention to the more efficient method of prompt replacement of leaders employed by the honeybee society.

The queen bee, only one to a colony, must perform effectively or the colony will collapse and die. A good queen lays 2000 eggs per day; a poor queen just can’t lay enough eggs. If there are signs that the queen is not doing her job, the worker bees (some 50,000 of them) communicate by pheromones and take immediate action to assure sustainability of the colony. Pretending that the queen is an elected official, she really needs to be responsible for the welfare of the colony. The workers, acting as voting citizens, recognize the threat to survival and immediately start to raise a half dozen new queens, as if they are nominating a new slate of competing queen candidates. Worker bees take 21 days to hatch from egg to adult bee but as they are in a hurry to get a new queen, they feed the queen larva plenty of royal jelly and hatch them out in 18 days. Ruthless as politicians, the first new queen that hatches kills all her competitors and soon takes over and begins laying eggs.

With our form of government we elect some officials that are better than others but we are sometimes “stuck” with our choice for four years! The bees are smarter—they throw out promptly those that don’t do their job. We could learn from the honeybee society as they have perfected their succession methods over 40 million years.

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