Team Swarming: are your team wasps or bees

Sometimes the Bee-team is the A-team: the importance of an automatic team swarm response to threats and opportunities.



Swarming: Exceptionally agile group co-ordination whilst on the move

This week we discovered two wasp nests - one in the garden and one in the roof space.

The ones in the roof made their way into the house and Jamie, our nine year old son, was not too pleased to find eight large wasps flying round his bedroom when he awoke.

So we called the pest exterminator....

As Charlie, the exterminator, put on his protective clothing and headgear he told me his story of the differences between bee's nests and wasps nests.

"Wasps don't swarm you know"

So if you disturb their nest the individual wasps might sting you but you won't get a group response.

Bees are very different - once one bee stings you it releases a chemical pheromone which basically is an instant message to tell every other bee in the hive "sting here"!

Much more dangerous for a pest exterminator!

So even though wasps and bees are both social insects and live in groups they both respond very differently to threats.

Wasps make an individual response - bees make a group response

So when the s**t hits the fan in your team:

  • Are you a group of individuals or a team of partners?
  • Is it everyone for themselves or a team response?
  • Is the response automatic, consistent and rapid or does everyone need to think about what they are going to do?
  • Does the response depend on who finds out first?

For more on the importance swarming in teams see Top teams know how to swarm.

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