Born to Explore!   The Other Side of ADD

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Books I recommend:


The Edison Trait: Saving the Spirit of Your Nonconforming Child (Dynamos, Discoverers and Dreamers)


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Beyond ADD: Hunting for Reasons in the Past & the Present by Thom Hartmann


The Minds of Boys:
Saving our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life

The ADD Nutrition Solution

More   books...



Streaker Bees and ADD

bee.gif (8384 bytes)Honeybees 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?

Streaker bees 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 life.

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.

"Every 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.

All BTE pages were written by Teresa Gallagher unless otherwise noted and may be photocopied (but not reprinted) without permission.  BTE Web Design now creates websites for small businesses. Perhap "BTE" really means "Born to Entrepreneur..."