The Wolf and the Bee

The wolf upon tasting honey and finding it to be delicious decided to inquire of the bee what social structure gave rise to such effective production. The bee invited the wolf to stay in the hive. He stuck his nose in it. “I am the queen.” explained the bee “I am the only fertile female.” “Then who are these other bees working for you?” “These are my daughters whom I have starved to the point that their gonads do not develop, effectively castrating them.” “Yuk.” said the wolf. “I will be going, and before I do I will make you a gift of a haunch of eland that my fellow wolves and I have killed.” “That is really something” quoth the bee “May I come and observe the social structure of the wolves that enabled you to team up and kill such a large and delicious ungulate?” “Most assuredly” replied the wolf and took the bee to observe the next kill of the wolf pack. One wolf, the alpha wolf led the others in bringing down a mighty moose, he ate first, while the others drooled after his scraps. “You see.” said the wolf “Unlike your hymenopteran kindred we enjoy both freedom and license. These wolves are not castrated.” “Then how does the alpha wolf keep them in line?” inquired the bee. “By machismo and brutality” quoth the wolf “Until such point as he becomes weak and injured and his brothers tear him to pieces and a new one becomes alpha wolf in his stead.” The queen bee was thoughtful for a moment. “It is a good system.” she said “But there’s too much barking.”


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