provide an excellent example of how a social species produces
temperament variations to generate an efficient division of labor.
"Normal" honeybees (about 95%) are classified as worker bees.
These bees are highly focused on making honey day in and day out. If
bees have a brain, then the worker bee's brain is wired for long
attention spans. How else could it spend so much time making honey?
comprise only five percent of the honeybee population (about the
same percentage as ADD in our population). They have a different
role in the social fabric of bee life. Their job is to find a new
home for the hive. If they make honey, they probably don't do it
very well, because every adaptation is a trade-off. A temperament
which is good for exploring isn't so good for the chores of everyday
There comes a when a
new hive is needed. That is when the streaker bees become active.
They leave the hive and scout the surrounding terrain for the best
possible nest site. In the meantime, the worker bees just wait. They
don't know how to explore because that's not part of their
temperament. After a time the streaker bees return to the nest and
do some kind of bee dance to impress the worker bees. Eventually the
worker bees choose one of the streaker bee's recommendations and
head off to a new site together.
Now, what would the
worker bees do if they didn't have the streaker bees? And what would
the streaker bees do if they didn't have the worker bees?
The same might be
said for the relationship between "normal" people and ADD/creative
people. The creative types may not be very good worker bees. But
they're great explorers (inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers). The
normal people get a lot of work done, but they are dependent upon
the ADD/creatives for invention.
adaptation is a tradeoff" - Carl Sagan
Source on bee
info: "A Life Spent Among Bees Deciphering the Swarm" by Denise
Grady, New York Times Science Times, April 1, 1997.