Sunday, September 29, 2013

A lesson from honeybees

My friend, Jim,  emailed me a fascinating short video about honey bees and a predatory hornet.

 In the video (shown below), a lone hornet that was scouting for food marked the location of the bees’ hive so that fellow hornets can find it.

But before the hornet could call the rest of the gang, the bees summoned other nearby bees, trapped the hornet and eliminated it not by stinging or cannibalizing it but by flapping their wings and vibrating. 
The vibration produced heat which the hornet could not tolerate. It died before it could give away the location of the bees’ hive to its fellow hornets.

Jim asked: “Do you think the bees knew that the hornet could not possibly survive the heat?”

“I don’t know but it could have been something instinctive. Certainly, an entomologist would  know the answer,” I wrote in my reply to Jim.
I took a break from my computer and stepped out into the patio of the house of friends I have been visiting in Oregon.

As I took in the cold night air, I was attracted by a single moving light in the sky. I realized that the light was from an airplane.

I thought of Jim’s question. I thought of the problems facing our world. I thought of the many concerns in national and geo-politics, security and economics that we argue and fight about. I thought of another friend who only lately blogged about the possible recurrence of another Hiroshima-like holocaust. The world, as he saw it, has become increasingly terrifying.

“What if someone dares push the button again,” my friend asked.

To paraphrase the guru J. Krishnamurti, we have the tendency not to see things that are right under our nose.

The bees -- nature, which we like to admire, photograph, write about -- offer a solution to the morass we have created.

We expand our consciousness. We think not just about food on our table or what we put on and into our bodies. We see ourselves not as the deprived 90% or as liberals, democrats or republicans or even as Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists. We transcend our parochial interests. We step out of our boxes and bring down the walls that separate us from one another.

No, we do not push the button again. Instead, like the honeybees that overcame a predator larger in size than they are, we raise our vibration.


Posted with Aloha from Oregon
- Ariel Murphy


  1. Man those buggas wiped out that first bee hive. The world is a very dangerous place if you are something's prey. Hornets and wasps are deadly predators. Amazing how those Japanese bees evolved to solve that problem - responding in unison to a common foe. Go bees!!!

  2. And that's why, Mary, we more to vibrate stronger!