bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Monday, August 02, 2004

The little yellow book

Forget Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, an American beekeeper has produced a little yellow book extolling the virtues of working co-operatively. Howard Scott, a beekeeper in Massachusetts wrote Bee Lessons in 2000. Now in its third printing, it's claimed the book is sought after by many unusual sources including an amateur baseball team.

The book contains 42 lessons like:
“The queen is always surrounded by attendants. They circle her, keeping her clean, providing her with food, fanning her with cool air, keeping her dry, discarding her eliminations, and combing her . . . About the only thing the queen never has is privacy.”
The lesson here: being a leader has its downside.
“Tasks are age-related so that every worker bee does many jobs during a lifetime. She starts cleaning cells, then processes honey, then tends the queen, then guards the entrance, and finally forages for nectar and pollen . . . Moreover, she does each job with enthusiasm, working 24-hour days, taking short naps. There‚Äôs never any problem with slackers.”
The lesson here: job satisfaction can be found in variety.
Would Mao agree?


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