Author Topic: Bees are sentient.  (Read 3274 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Zweefer

  • Administrator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 1825
  • Thanked: 164 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Eau Claire WI
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
Henry David Thoreau
The following users thanked this post: Bakersdozen, The15thMember

Offline The15thMember

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 694
  • Thanked: 101 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: Bees are sentient.
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2023, 11:31:45 am »
I'm sorry, but I can't begin to understand why this is so revolutionary.  I would think it would be obvious that an animal that can learn is an animal that can feel, otherwise how else would it learn?  And anyone who has been around bees and actually worked with them knows they don't only react instinctively, right?  If I am working a hive and I squeeze a bee between two frames, she buzzes and struggles to be let out and then continues to be irritated for a few minutes, in spite of the fact that I haven't hurt her.  It was obviously a negative experience for her, and an insect who can remember the way home after flying 3 miles away could easily remember other things. 

There is a carpenter bee male who has set up his territory in front of our garage this year.  The other day, since messing with male bees is fun because there are no consequences :) , I snuck up on him and snagged him out of the air.  I didn't hurt him, just held him in my hand for a few seconds, during which time he struggled and buzzed, and then I released him.  He is now wary of me when I approach, and if I hold up my hand like I'm going to grab him again, he flies away.  How else would he have learned if he didn't remember the negative experience of being caught, and especially that he DID remember it as negative, in spite of the fact that nothing bad actually happened?  He obviously acted afraid, he experienced the threat that I might be a predator, and he is now responding to avoid feeling and experiencing that negative situation again.  We would call that "feeling afraid".  It wasn't instinctive, since he didn't try to avoid me the first time.  I don't need any fancy scientific equipment to observe this.  How else could this type of behavior be explained?  I don't understand what the alternative to sentiency could be in an organism that is obviously so complex. 

It reminds me of Robert Frost's "A Considerable Speck".     
Quote
A Considerable Speck
(Microscopic)
 
A speck that would have been beneath my sight
On any but a paper sheet so white
Set off across what I had written there.
And I had idly poised my pen in air
To stop it with a period of ink
When something strange about it made me think,
This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,
But unmistakably a living mite
With inclinations it could call its own.
It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
And then came racing wildly on again
To where my manuscript was not yet dry;
Then paused again and either drank or smelt—
With loathing, for again it turned to fly.
Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.
It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,
Yet must have had a set of them complete
To express how much it didn’t want to die.
It ran with terror and with cunning crept.
It faltered: I could see it hesitate;
Then in the middle of the open sheet
Cower down in desperation to accept
Whatever I accorded it of fate.
I have none of the tenderer-than-thou
Collectivistic regimenting love
With which the modern world is being swept.
But this poor microscopic item now!
Since it was nothing I knew evil of
I let it lie there till I hope it slept.
 
I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind.
 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Bakersdozen

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 4545
  • Thanked: 486 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Olathe, Kansas
Re: Bees are sentient.
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2023, 12:06:46 pm »
Good thoughts 15th.  The first time I did away with a queen I was able to see an attendant's reaction to the fatal blow.  That has stuck in my mind, vividly,  all these years. 
The following users thanked this post: The15thMember

Offline Jen

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10175
  • Thanked: 240 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: Bees are sentient.
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2023, 01:33:08 pm »
Good morning 15th and Baker  :)
    Beings I've been a mentor for our county for 4 years now, I've worked with countless new and seasoned beekeepers. A couple of seasons into mentoring it was becoming clear to me that not every beekeeper falls in love with or is enthrauled with their honeybees. Year after year their hives would die from starvation by spring, or they would say "Naah, I'm not going into all that extra expense for a mite I cannot see" resulting in their dead hives by spring. I would encourage them to come to our monthly meetings, but no show. And yet, they will order two replacement nucs/packages every single spring at the expense of $330, from our club and say "I don't know why my bees die every year?"

To shorten this story, I have realized two things. Some people simply see honeybees as a box of dispensable insects. I know this for a fact ... some beekeepers buy nucs every year, do nothing to help them survive, take the honey for holiday gifts, let the beehive die out, next spring buy new nucs.

Some people think that the lack of honeybees on our planet is "A Hoax" or "Fake News" if you will.

And by and large, women make more compassionate beekeepers, although I have come a cross men beekeepers that absolutely love everything thing about their bees and do what they need to keep them alive, plus they are up on all the newest news about bees.

So in my journey of honeybee journey, I haven't really learned more about bees per say, but I have learned a lot about how each beekeeper percieves his or her bees.







There Is Peace In The Queendom
The following users thanked this post: The15thMember

Offline The15thMember

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 694
  • Thanked: 101 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: Bees are sentient.
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2023, 04:28:44 pm »
Good morning 15th and Baker  :)
    Beings I've been a mentor for our county for 4 years now, I've worked with countless new and seasoned beekeepers. A couple of seasons into mentoring it was becoming clear to me that not every beekeeper falls in love with or is enthrauled with their honeybees. Year after year their hives would die from starvation by spring, or they would say "Naah, I'm not going into all that extra expense for a mite I cannot see" resulting in their dead hives by spring. I would encourage them to come to our monthly meetings, but no show. And yet, they will order two replacement nucs/packages every single spring at the expense of $330, from our club and say "I don't know why my bees die every year?"

To shorten this story, I have realized two things. Some people simply see honeybees as a box of dispensable insects. I know this for a fact ... some beekeepers buy nucs every year, do nothing to help them survive, take the honey for holiday gifts, let the beehive die out, next spring buy new nucs.

Some people think that the lack of honeybees on our planet is "A Hoax" or "Fake News" if you will.

And by and large, women make more compassionate beekeepers, although I have come a cross men beekeepers that absolutely love everything thing about their bees and do what they need to keep them alive, plus they are up on all the newest news about bees.

So in my journey of honeybee journey, I haven't really learned more about bees per say, but I have learned a lot about how each beekeeper percieves his or her bees.
It's true, and I always think it's so sad when people view bees as disposable.  If you got a milk cow, you wouldn't just milk it until it stopped producing and then let it die over the winter!   :no:  My dad was watching one of those Alaska homestead shows a few weeks ago, and he called me in because the guy was setting up some beehives.  He was trying to keep them away from bears, so he was going to put them on the roof of one of those big metal shipping containers, which he used as a storage shed.  He was getting like 6 hives or something, and I thought to myself "There isn't going to be room to inspect up there".  As we kept watching, it became apparent that he wasn't planning on inspecting really, he was just going to slap boxes on every couple weeks during the flow, then harvest all the honey in the fall, let the bees starve/freeze to death over the winter, and order more packages in the spring.  Drove me crazy!  >:(
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Bakersdozen

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 4545
  • Thanked: 486 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Olathe, Kansas
Re: Bees are sentient.
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2023, 11:43:24 am »

It's true, and I always think it's so sad when people view bees as disposable.  If you got a milk cow, you wouldn't just milk it until it stopped producing and then let it die over the winter!   :no:  My dad was watching one of those Alaska homestead shows a few weeks ago, and he called me in because the guy was setting up some beehives.  He was trying to keep them away from bears, so he was going to put them on the roof of one of those big metal shipping containers, which he used as a storage shed.  He was getting like 6 hives or something, and I thought to myself "There isn't going to be room to inspect up there".  As we kept watching, it became apparent that he wasn't planning on inspecting really, he was just going to slap boxes on every couple weeks during the flow, then harvest all the honey in the fall, let the bees starve/freeze to death over the winter, and order more packages in the spring.  Drove me crazy!  >:(

That truly sounds like the lazy way of beekeeping, with the exception of hauling heavy supers down from a shipping container.  It sounds like the homesteader in the tv show isn't even going to try to learn how to keep their bees alive.  Perhaps the value of honey in Alaska is valuable enough to make honeybees disposable?  Yukonjeff has educated us on how difficult it can be learning to keep bees in Alaska. https://worldwidebeekeeping.com/forum/index.php?topic=7021.msg89217#msg89217
The following users thanked this post: The15thMember

Offline Jen

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10175
  • Thanked: 240 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: Bees are sentient.
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2023, 12:27:41 pm »
In my history as a beekeeper I have known personally two beeks that do just that, and I know there are many others. They buy two nucs, don't treat or care for the bees, get the honey for holiday gifts. However, there are those beeks that do value the importance of bees tho and they get the honey, then contact our bee group and say they have two hives that anyone can 'have' if they want to take them. Which is pretty cool, but you have to know that you will be bringing home sick hives.

In actuality, bees do take up time and expense caring for them, so I have to except the fact that with some beekeeper's bees are dispensable  :sad:
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline Bakersdozen

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 4545
  • Thanked: 486 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Olathe, Kansas
Re: Bees are sentient.
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2023, 06:39:22 pm »
In my history as a beekeeper I have known personally two beeks that do just that, and I know there are many others. They buy two nucs, don't treat or care for the bees, get the honey for holiday gifts. However, there are those beeks that do value the importance of bees tho and they get the honey, then contact our bee group and say they have two hives that anyone can 'have' if they want to take them. Which is pretty cool, but you have to know that you will be bringing home sick hives.

In actuality, bees do take up time and expense caring for them, so I have to except the fact that with some beekeeper's bees are dispensable  :sad:

I have thought that, with the exception of a few pockets of bees in isolated areas, feral colonies will probably succumb to varroa mites.  Beekeepers who are educated and proactive will probably be the reason that the honey bee species survive despite varroa mites, toxic landscapes, and poor nutrition.