The rule of 72 and mite control.

The rule of 72 is a financial rule of thumb that says that 72 divided by an interest rate will tell you how long it takes for any given amount of money to double.

There are a lot of factors involved but this is also true with many other things in life. For example, we could determine a similar calculation for mites in honey bee hives.

How is this relevant? The relevance is in the doubling effect. A financial planner will tell you to start saving early for this reason. No matter how much, or little, it matters to start early. Why? To get more doublings.

Your first year’s savings may take 7 years to double. That may be doubling from $1000 to $2000. Not much in the big picture of retirement, huh? But remember there’s another $1000 you saved the year after your first. And so it goes. Compounding takes effect and the total grows.

In ten years you might have$15,000. That $15,000 doubles in another 7 years plus any additional you added. By the second doubling you’ll start to see an effect.

So, here’s the kicker. By the time you actually are ready to retire say you have $500,000. That’s great but what if you had started 7 years earlier? Think about this. The answer is you’d have another doubling in the equation. That’s right, $1,000,000. The big One Million. Or an additional $500,000 in just seven years.

And to the point of this post. A mite population has a rule of 72 which can be calculated by it reproductive rate. What does that mean? It means that it isn’t the first doubling that kills the hive, it’s the last doubling. Now doesn’t this explain some things that seem unexplainable? Like sudden hive crashes and what appears to be abscondings? That last doubling is simply overwhelming. The viral load becomes unsurvivable. Of course the rule of 72 with mites in beehives has a limiting factor – the survivability of the bees.