"The assumption that insects are, by virtue of their size or their lack of an internal skeleton, necessarily simple has frequently beguiled researchers into overly reductionistic hypotheses" (Gould, 83).
Almost all honeybees are female (the 40,000 workers and the queen). The only known purpose of the 100s of males is to mate with the queen. These drones are thrown out of the hive before winter so their useless selves don't eat any of the honey. (Yes, the folks at Star Trek are confused about the whole drone/worker thing. Personally, I think American capitalists would find a Borg ship full of highly organized workers far scarier than one full of drones, whom they, no doubt, would like to employ.)
"One of the most amazing attributes of a honey bee colony is its ability to project its foraging operation over an immense area around the hive: at least 100 km2" (Seeley, 47). "If bees were the size of people, the Harvard University biologist Edward O. Wilson once remarked, a single colony could collect nectar and pollen from half the state of Texas" (Buchmann & Nabham, 22).
Bees have a division of labor that is roughly age based (although probably not age driven) (Seeley, 241). Young workers can be found cleaning cells, capping and removing caps on cells with larvae in them, tending to the brood, tending to the queen, receiving nectar, packing pollen, building comb, cleaning the hive, ventilating (through fanning of the wings), and guarding the entrance. Later tasks include foraging for nectar, pollen, water and propolis with bees specializing in one area (Winston, 96). Yes, that Bee Movie stuff about choosing one job for the rest of your life was a big fat lie. I'll leave it to you to decide if it's just a stupid plot device or capitalist propoganda trying to normalize the idea of corporate life sentences.
Honeybees are not domesticated
(Gould, 17). This is not because humans haven't
tried; the earliest recorded beekeepers were the ancient Egyptians (Gould,
5). Viva la resistance!