
In "The DaVinci Code", One of the main characters, Robert Langdon, says (p. 64) that the ratio of the number of female bees to male bees in any beehive in the world is always 1.618..., or PHI, the golden ratio. Has anyone seen this statistic elsewhere? How does it account for a hive with a laying worker?
This seemed like an interesting topic for discussion on a frigid winter day!

That would be 68% workers and 38% drones. If I found a hive with that many drones I'd be getting a new queen. Also, the statement is very erroneous when you consider I haven't seen ANY drones for several months.

I'm sorry, and maybe I'm just being dense, but a single number 1.618 is not a ratio. Am I missing something here?

I'm assuming that is 1:1.618. So it would be the number of workers divided by the number of drones and that is the result.
So if the workers are 1.618 and the drones are 1 then it is 1.618 divided by 1 which is 1.618 or (in more realistic terms) 161,800 workers divided by 100,000 drones which would be 1.618.
I still think that colony is in trouble.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited January 16, 2004).]

Actually there is something connecting male/female bees and the golden number. It is a ratio, but not a ratio of what is being implied by the statement.
If you calculate the number of parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. a generation of mail and femail bees have you get a Fibonacci Sequence. After several generations the ratio of male to female grandparents settles down to the golen ratio.
See http://www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Personal...ci/fibnat.html

I can't wait for spring.....


Ok, now my head hurts! http://www.beesource.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
Waitign for spring
BB

What kind of sauce you y'all like on Fibonacci? I prefer pasta sauce with mushrooms and ground beef.

Sol Parker
Southern Oregon Apiaries
http://www.allnaturalhoney.com

"Not that there's anything wrong with it", as Seinfeld says, but Fibonacci was a dude. Covering him with pasta sauce and mushrooms(?), well enough said. Even if your into that kind of eating, how about strawberries, creme and honey?
Man, I can't wait till spring.......

Spring! Spring! SPRING!!!
.618 could be rounded to 62%, not 68%.
Im sure its just a typo. . . .
Did someone say its, "Spring"?

>>That would be 68% workers and 38% drones. If I found a hive with that many drones I'd be getting a new queen. Also, the statement is very erroneous when you consider I haven't seen ANY drones for several months
>.618 could be rounded to 62%, not 68%.
Im sure its just a typo. . . .
Sorry I did it on my calculator but I must has either mistyped it or misread the results and left out the middle digit. It is .618. That is 38% drones and 62% workers. Thanks.

I've been mulling this over for a couple of days, and it does not seem at all feasible that the numbers, regardless of the ratio, would apply to bees. In animals and humans, this ratio could be the case, since pregnancy is preceded by a single act of fertilization which results in either male or female, depending on a chromosomal game of chance. In bees, since the queen is mated in a single flight and with different males contributing a variety of genes, this theory would imply that a percentage of male and female eggs result in specific proportions. There's also the fact that a hive will supercede a failing queen. It's my impression that drones are primarily produced at the beginning of the season and that their numbers are fairly limited within the hive. I suppose that if a queen randomly laid worker and drone eggs, this theory could work, but I don't see much random chance at work in a bee hive. Bees would also have to become much more tolerant of failing queens.
Sorry to ramble on. I guess I've just been bored, huh?

I know Fibonacci was a dude, his name sounds similar to a type of pasta, so I thought a joke was in order.

THE DA VINCI CODE, it's a thriller with a loony conspiracy theory full of lies and halftruths. Reader beware. I would have to take anything a character says as being fiction.
 Barry

Well one has to realize that the book IS a piece of fiction that is based on very well researched material. Though if it is so easy thrown out the window as nonsense, then why is there so great a catholic outcry about it? Just something interesting. Its interesting reading, its a piece of fiction based on a tightly woven tapestry of well researched legend and history.
Enjoy the book, that's what it was written for. To enjoy.

Greetings . . .
In normal hive, in active season, there will be:
300 to 1000 drones
25,000 older foragers
25,000 young hive bees
Source: THE BEEKEEPER'S HANDBOOK, Sammataro & Avitabile, 1998, p164.

Dave W . . .
A NewBEE with 1 hive.
First package installed
April, 2003.