Interview with a Bumble Bee
Podcaster: Good day everyone, our guest is Bob. Bob is a bumble bee, he is a propolis installer in his hive. Hi Bob, can I call you Bobby?
Bee: Hello, thank you for having me, Bob is fine.
Podcaster: Thanks for taking the time to meet with me, bobby... I know you're a little busy.
Bee: Um yes, I'm a busy little bee, how very clever, and not at all cliché. You people always seem to make the assessment that we're flying around on some kind of assignment, against our will.
Podcaster: Well then, how do you define your work, bobby?
Bee: What is work? And you can just call me Bob.
Podcaster: Work is the arbitrary activity you do for others, reluctantly and resentfully, to acquire compensation to then acquire the things you need to be happy – such as food, shelter, and transportation.
Podcaster: I understand you have a queen, does all compensation trickle down from the monarch? Do you consider yourself her subject?
Bee: Within our democracy there is no trickling, it is understood the roll and contribution of every bee is equal and integral in the survival of the hive. It is not in the interest of the queen to create the illusion of supremacy.
Podcaster: Then how do you know who are the winners and losers?
Bee: Why would we need winners and losers? Wouldn't creating a sense of defeat in a faction of the populous lead to ill content and resentment, and consequential revolt to the detriment of all?
Podcaster: Well sure, but it's the fear of losing that motivates members to do their part to grow the GDP, economy, hive... whatever. If an individual bee doesn't have incentive to acquire more wealth to express their dominance over other bees than what's the point in working on the hive at all?
Bee: Um, the hive is what sustains the bees.
Podcaster: Okay, but don't you ever wish you had more than just one of those little hexagon houses, maybe one on each side of the hive? Better transportation to get to and from your houses.
Bee: Better transportation than wings?
Podcaster: Don't you ever think that maybe you've worked harder than some of the other bees and are therefore entitled to more resources?
Bee: Entitled? Why on Earth would I want more resources?
Podcaster: Just hear me out, imagine if you were to create a novel new approach to hive building out of materials which fail faster than propolis so it would have to be replaced more often. Now imagine you had a monopoly on this product and its supply chain, and you convinced the queen, and all your fellow subjects, that this new system needs to grow exponentially or the entire hive will collapse.
Bee: Again, democracy... no subjects.
Podcaster: With your success other bees will themselves surely want additional little hexagon houses in prime locations throughout the hive and better transportation to get from one to another.
Bee: Again, better than wings?
Podcaster: You could start building entirely new hives out of your patented mock-propolis throughout the forest and import the raw materials from other forests where bees get paid less for their work.
Bee: The word "work" is not in our voc...forget it.
Podcaster: Also, do you ever get tired of wearing the same black and yellow stripped outfit as all the other bees? Can I be honest? You guys look kinda cultish. Have you concidered starting your own fashion line as a way to further influence others on the merits of individualism, and to strengthen the need for consumption by weakening social coherence? Individualism is the best way to create a sense of inadequacy among others and a void to be filled with your consumer products.
Bee: Okay, I'm starting to see why the climate is changing.
Podcaster: I'm not one tell anyone how to do their job, bobby, but you're doing yours wrong. The word "colony" does in fact come from a form of human governance which is clearly effective, sustainable and in the best interest of all who unquestioningly embrace it. I mean, just look at our history, as told by our colonizers.
Bee: I think we're done here.
Podcaster: Of course, your "advanced" hive colonies will inevitably become the envy of all the "primitive" bees in all the lands which supply your resources, so you'll need an army and investment in weaponry to defend your enterprise.
Bee: Well, this has been fun... I should really get back to, um, work.
Podcaster: In the name of the queen, right Bobby?