Swarming Your Project “Murder Hornets” Takes Communication


The Next Threat…Murder Hornets

As if COVID-19 is not enough, we recently found out we have yet another potential threat to our food supply. This time, however, nature got involved faster than we have.

If you haven’t heard yet, new roughly 2-inch long insects known as “murder hornets” have made their way to the U.S. for the first time ever. Todd Murray, WSU Extension entomologist, and invasive species specialist told WSU Insider the “shockingly large hornet” is a “health hazard, and more importantly, a significant predator of honeybees.” The murder hornets were initially found in Washington state, and those officials are tracking the hornets and setting up traps to, hopefully, ease any possible harm. 


SWARMING – A Clear and Present Danger Solution from Honeybees

HOWEVER – some honeybee species have taken on the risk and resolution themselves.  As stated in a recent Snopes article, the Japanese honeybees attack the predator by swarming –  forming a “hot defensive bee ball” – to “cook” the murder hornets to death.  As of this post, the “hot bee ball” activity has not been seen in European honeybees, the most common pollinator in the United States.

Two aspects of this really resonate with me.

  • Do your teams come together and “swarm” to solve problems and address new risks as they appear or do they try to solve things in a silo – resulting in them ultimately being “eaten alive” by the risk?
  • Do your team’s swarm (communicate) with other teams about resolutions they’ve found to new and present dangers as they figure the answers out?

Is Your Team Staying Connected?

With our current state of affairs being remote with some working at home and some in the office, we now have a more significant risk of missed communications between team members.  During this time, we really must ensure that communication and lessons learned are being shared with all our team members regardless of the topic.  You never know when a problem/solution you think is only in “your world” can help out a different department or team.

Check out www.arrowheadconsulting.com for information on better communication and opportunities to participate in virtual training to improve your team dynamics and communication through this – and the next – clear and present danger.

Bruce Jordan, Partner – Arrowhead Consulting