World Bee Day 2022
A swarm is the only time you will see a whole colony out of the hive. The bees are moving on and dividing as part of the life cycle of the colony. When a colony is hanging together like this they are simply pausing while they search out a suitable new hives and vote, democratically (yes really), which one they will eventually move to.
As with everything in the hive, it is the colony together that decide what happens next. For years the Honeybees has been a symbolism of industry where the masses work together for the betterment of the Queen. The truth is that no one serves any master, but rather the colony thinks and works as one organism where all individuals have equal parts in the functioning of the whole. The hive needs a CEO, the choosen one, someone the colony can gather around, the Queen! , However, while she may seem to be the one in control, she is actually the servant of the colony, an egg laying machine that serves to keep bee numbers high enough to fulfil the needs of the colony. Without her the colony will not survive but she is not in control, but rather depends on the workers to keep her safe, feed her, clean her and to ensure that everything else in the hive works as it should do. The workers (all girls) are the ones who work together around her, each taking their role (dependant on their age) and serving the purpose of the whole. There are nurse bees, foraging bees, guard bees, engineer bees and domestic goddess bees who clean the hive, take care of the young, protect the entrance from invaders, build cells and the royal servants who ensure the queen has every need met.
Together, the bees make the decisions about who to feed, when to swarm, how to organised the hive, if the queen is kept or disposed of and they do it all in agreement and serve the needs of the colony.
There is one final character I've not mentioned, the Drone. These are the male bees who only help in fanning the hive when it gets dangerously hot. Their main purpose is to breed and that is it, they are pretty much useless. Once summer is over the need to breed has passed and the need for Drones has too. Once Summer begins to come to an end the Workers forcibly remove the redundant males as they serve no purpose to the colony anymore.
Plain and simple, the needs of the bigger colony are met by every player, those who don't look serve the whole and serve themselves have no place there. We could all learn from the honeybees.