Michael Siva-Jothy

As an entomologist I see an animal with a brain the size of a pin-head that can learn to associate the colour of flowers, their distance from the hive, the amount of nectar they produce and the angle of the sun and tell their nest-mates where to go. This is not very poetic – but it’s a lesson in how an evolutionary transition (from solitary to eusocial) produces a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Just as you are made of cells that all have your DNA, the hive is a collective of task-partitioned individuals.