The social insects live in advanced communities with a complex and rich social fabric (structure). Their behaviour is interesting, because there are so many parallels to our own society. They do not have our intellect, but still, there are incredibly many similarities between the community of the insects and our society.
The social insects like ants, bees and wasps live in societies that with their work sharing (division of labour) can remind us of the human beings, which can roughly be divided into workers, soldiers and queens. For example, the anthill, as an edifice (building), has a perfect indoor climate, with temperature, ventilation and humidity regulation. It is the model of a 100% sustainable, ideal society, in relation to the ants’ living conditions and behaviour. The ants have an important role in nature’s housekeeping, and display the ideal balance of sustainable living, in relation to the environment they are a part of. The nest of the honeybees has been hunted for honey and beeswax for millennia. Early in our history, we learned to keep the bees in specially arranged homes, the beehives, close to the familiar form of their original homes.
When it comes to the organisation of the home, these social insects are the only animals that can be compared with us human beings. The diversity in the behaviour and strategies of the insects creates a flexible and adaptable colony. We can allow ourselves to be inspired by the collective individualism in the group, of these social insects, because they have successfully managed to live densely, by both using the individualism, and the collective strength.
So let the social insects challenge our prejudices about living densely.
Film by Birgitte Katborg Laursen