“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”


This quote is often attributed to Albert Einstein. It’s been used in mainstream media and even in scientific papers. There’s no actual proof that he said it though. That doesn’t make the message any less worrying and the increase in Colony Collapse Disorder is real and really serious you could try this out. Strict mandated testing of pesticides ensures that they are not harmful to bees if used in appropriate doses, so they can be counted out as a cause.


A recent study reported in The Economist supposes that the world is more complex than that. It found that the use of one pesticide in ‘safe doses’ significantly increased the susceptibility of bees to a fungal parasite that might kill them prematurely.

It’s generally assumed Einstein said those words.  He probably didn’t.  It’s scientifically proven that  pesticides don’t kill bees. They might. The vast majority of  economic theory is based on the axiom that increasing shareholder value must be the prime focus of management if an organisation is to thrive.

What do you think?

It’s a complex world. In complexity there is no discernible link between cause and effect until after the fact.  This is why organisations need to be comfortable with ambiguity and uncomfortable with statements of what absolutely ‘is’.  They must be alive to emerging issues and truths.  The must be students of the oddballs in the patent office.  You know, like Einstein.

So here’s another theory.  That pesticide that encourages parasites?  The Economist article also notes, in passing, that it ‘has a bad effect on the honeybees’ ability to learn’.