It is well known that hyper-stressed individuals (burden-life imbalance) can suffer from burnout, which is clinically similar to depression. However, it is unknown if complex systems such as a society, were also suffering from “burnout-like” syndromes.
Our virtual group focuses on the development of social communities under stress. Our hypothesis is that a global balance exists (burden-life) which ensures the prosperous development of societies. We investigate this question for social insects by applying a newly developed management system for honey bees. The model system was chosen for culinary reasons initially, but such colonies also turned out to be a good model for autonomous, self-sustaining bio-systems. They are easy observed without microscope, uncomplicated in maintenance and manipulation.
It is believed that during the stage of brisk population growth, colonies focus on maximal development to increase the success rate of reproduction later in the year. In contrast initial results suggest that development is sub-maximal under normal conditions and that stress can contribute to optimal development by activating some additional resources of the community. However, hyper-stress can lead to community decay, which we believe is an indication for community burnout.
Aside we realized that honey consumption leads to abrupt decline of human stress levels anytime.