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  1. #1
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    Thumbs Up Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    I'm about half way through Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy, and I just wanted to post and recommend it, and also to thank people here who did the same.

    To anyone interested in bait hives and catching swarms, it's a must-read. But for those who just want a better understanding of Honeybee behavior from someone who clearly admires them as deeply as many of the people here do, it's money well-spent.

    The perfect aid to my February chill...

    Adam

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Completely agree with Adam. Well worth the read by either hard copy or Kindel.
    Steve

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Just got his other book "The Wisdom of the Hive" today!
    Mil Apostol - Chef, Beekeeper, Gardener, Forager, and Geocacher
    http://www.UrbanFarmAndBeehives.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by msapostol View Post
    Just got his other book "The Wisdom of the Hive" today!
    Really - Please let me know what you think of it. I might order that as well.

    Adam

  5. #5

    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    I also enjoyed reading Honeybee Democracy. I found it interesting to learn how bees choose a potential swarm site by evaluating multiple locations, deliberating with each other and ultimately come to a decision and act on it collectively. I've always thought it was fascinating how so many bees can all work together for the benefit of the colony. This book gives some pretty good insight into how they make their decisions and I thought it was a fun read.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    Really - Please let me know what you think of it. I might order that as well.

    Adam
    I have it. It's not a quick read but it's very interesting. And since it costs so much, it's nice that it's full of substance.

    There are plenty of scattergraphs, graphs, charts etc. that give excellent representations of the behavior that's being examined.

    You might put "Form and Function in the Honey Bee" on your wishlist as well.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    ...

    You might put "Form and Function in the Honey Bee" on your wishlist as well.
    Who wrote that one?

    Adam

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    If you think Seeley's books are good, try listening to him talk in person. He's easy to listen to, and makes the material very interesting. Have your state association try to get him to come and give a presentation. You won't be sorry. Tom's also a "disciple" of Roger Morse, who I believe (2nd to G.M. Doolittle) was the greatest beekeeper who ever lived.
    "...the most populous colonies ...are provided by queens ...in the year following their birth." Brother Adam

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    There is a lot of difference between a consensus and a democracy... I don't see a colony as a democracy, but as a rule of consensus.

    But I agree Tom Seeley is a great speaker and a very smart and very nice guy.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    Who wrote that one?

    Adam
    http://ibrastore.org.uk/index.php?ma...products_id=24
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  11. #11
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    Nov 2003
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    Williston, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201012245. 10 2-minutes videos by Dr. Seeley that will blow your mind!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    There is a lot of difference between a consensus and a democracy... I don't see a colony as a democracy, but as a rule of consensus.
    "Democracy" is a word describing a group in which all parties have an equal role in the decision-making process.

    "Consensus" is a general agreement between separate entities.

    There is a lot of difference between the two, but they're not interchangeable. I think "democracy" is being employed in its most basic definition, certainly. And in that most basic sense, a democracy is ruled by consensus. But I believe the title is aimed at overcoming some of the basic misconceptions about bees, namely the idea that the queen "rules" the hive.

    I think he's on solid enough footing.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Good read, excepting the political editorializing that was scattered here and there, smelling like poo.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Democracy tend to be divisive. People divide on things they believe strongly in and then try to get enough votes to force that view on the minority, however large or small, that have the other view. This does not bring people together. Take a look at congress.

    A consensus is when you try to find a solution that at least almost everyone agrees on. It is a large majority rather than just enough votes to outvote you. So it requires negotiating a solution that please more people and oppresses less people.

    Bees don't take a vote. They are not divisive. They are trying to figure out what to do as a group.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Like an organism. Like the human body.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  16. #16
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I have it. It's not a quick read but it's very interesting. And since it costs so much, it's nice that it's full of substance.

    There are plenty of scattergraphs, graphs, charts etc. that give excellent representations of the behavior that's being examined.

    You might put "Form and Function in the Honey Bee" on your wishlist as well.
    Agreed. It's definitely isn't a quick read. It's chock full of info that you'd want to take it. I learned a lot already by reading the intro and first chapter.

    It's like reading one of Ken Wilber's books...
    Mil Apostol - Chef, Beekeeper, Gardener, Forager, and Geocacher
    http://www.UrbanFarmAndBeehives.com

  17. #17
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Democracy can be practiced either by consensus building or by majority rule. "democracy ... a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state..." (New Oxford American Dictionary)

    From _Honeybee Democracy_, Chapter 4, Kindle edition, locations 948-63:

    "...When a honeybee swarm chooses its future home, it practices the form of democracy known as direct democracy, in which the individuals within a community who choose to participate in its decision making do so personally rather than through representatives....

    "...[S]couts in a bee swarm have common interests ... and they reach decisions by building a consensus.... [P]eople ... often have conflicting interests ... and they reach decisions by using the majority voting rule..."

    --DeeAnna

  18. #18
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    Gardiner, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    Just getting started on it. I'm in the third chapter and I like it. It is full of good info but it isn't a fast read. Love the illustrations and photos.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    I just find that the discussion of the swarming behavior brings into focus a variety of different issues that relate to beekeeping. For instance:

    types of cavities or nest sites naturally chosen by the bees.
    Ways temperature in a swarm is regulated
    The idea that bees who make a nest on open combs have "failed" to find a nest site. This to me plays into our discussion of "natural" hives and what constitutes a good one.

    I also enjoy the fact that each experiment is explained in such a way which allows the reader to evaluate the quality of the findings. You're not just given a bunch of "facts" without some sort of reasoning.

    I don't find it to be a difficult read (for what it is explaining). In terms of a scientific set of findings, I think its quite accessible.

    Adam

  20. #20
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    Dec 2010
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    Dorset, Vermont
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    Default Re: Thomas D. Seeley's Honeybee Democracy

    There is a lot of difference between a consensus and a democracy... I don't see a colony as a democracy, but as a rule of consensus.
    From page 118 of Honeybee Democracy:"A dissent-free decision. That's what normally arises from the democratic decision-making process used by house-hunting honeybees ..."

    and from page 119: " ... the group decision-making process is "unitary democracy" since it involves individuals who have congruent interests."

    Bees don't take a vote.
    The waggle dance is equated to voting many times in the book including on page 121: " ... the scouts supporting any given site can become apathetic voters ... "

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