Busy Bees+

When we look at bees it appears as if they never stop, more they seem to be in a frantic hurry all the time.  This is the way we see it.  Changing perspective or bringing it in proportion with life of a human being changes this viewpoint somewhat.

The life of a bee is six to eight weeks long, in summer and spring; their life is shorter (they work more, they work themselves into an early grave) than in autumn and winter.

If one compares the length of a bee’s life with humans’ life with a span of sixty years, which is about 600 times longer then, when a bee stops just for one second it would correlate with a ten minutes coffee break.

Do we appear to bees moving about 600 times slower?  Not at all.  If we consider humans’ walking speed as 1.2 metres per second and the flying speed of bees about 10 metres per second then bees would only fly eight times faster than we walk, however their wings go so fast they disappear in a blur for a human’s eye.

Actually snails move about 600 times slower than humans.  Snails live for about two to twenty years.  When snails look at us we must appear to them as busy as bees’ wings.  Or perhaps we are so fast, so that we would be outside a snail’s perception, I guess, bees with being about 4800 times faster (bees are 8 times faster than we are and snails 600 times slower) would definitely be outside a snail’s perception.

And could a snail see us?  A bullet’s velocity is only 500 metres per second and we can’t see it, this would be about 420 times faster than us.  We move 600 times faster than a snail, can we assume they can’t see us?  Therefore, we definitely conclude that snails cannot see beings moving 4800 times faster.

But then again, what do we know about the perceptive senses of a snail?


During their life bees produce two teaspoons of honey.  One they eat and one they leave for future generations.  What do we leave for future generations?  Following the same analogy: “Bees leave what they eat”.  Do we leave what we eat?

We leave a lot of rubbish.  Since the onslaught of the industrial age we have created more waste than all the generations of people together since the dawn of human kind.  The crime of industry on humans is their ignorance to waste.  They know, all what they produce ultimately diminishes to waste but they turn a blind eye to it and our political leaders turned two blind eyes to it, or maybe they have no eyes at all.

Perhaps we should look at the eating / leaving behind analogy in a more implied way.  What we have left behind are advancements in technology, health, science, the arts in other works, the fruit of our mind so to speak.


The function of the mind, the way and what we think is strongly affected be our emotions and both emotions and brain function in a direct consequence of our physical wellbeing, which is severely influenced by the food we eat and the environmental conditions we live in.

Imagine what we and our world would be like if food and environment would be ideal for humans.  What would be the result?  The fruit of our minds?  Would the virtues, ethics, moral and beauty be integral of all we produce?  In this frame of mind, could we produce anything as wasteful as our current industry and not apply the concerns of sustainability?

So, what could we leave behind for future generations?  We could find clues when we visit museums and see what past generations have left for us.  And, if you want to time travel 2000 years into the future, what would you imagine you would find of our current products in the museums, then?  I wonder if anything would survive such a time span.


Wolfgang Köhler
01 June 2006

Why ingeneer?
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