Honeybees and the Political Process?

Last week, we experienced the process of democracy at its best.  As a country, we were able to cast our votes on who we thought should be the President of the United States of America for the next four years.  But did you know that our electoral process isn’t that much different than the process of how honeybees find a place to live?

A female scout is sent out to find a new home for the hive.  When the scout finds a suitable home that is large enough to store honey with small entrances to keep invaders out, it returns to the current hive to tell the other honeybees about their find.  The scout will rave about the new findings by wagging her tail and dancing, this isn’t always the tactic that we see in our own politics but you never know.  The scout travels back and forth many times to the prospective site.  Each time she returns she continues to wag and dance for the other bees.  When her moves are more enthusiastic it is a sign that she still thinks the new site is a great place to live, if her moves get less enthusiastic then the other bees know that she’s not as on board with the new site as she once was.  In certain cases, similar to US politics, the scout bee will even head butt other scouts that are trying to convince the hive of going somewhere different.

Eventually, as a group, the bees determine which place is best for the whole group.  See, just as with American politics, there is dancing around and even the occasional headbutting but the majority rules on what is for the greater good.

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