We have all heard the expression “busy as a bee,” but it never made as much sense to me as it did in early July of 2017 when I took a beekeeping class. Man, bees are busy working every minute of every day.
When on our annual adventure at Miraval with my fellow “Boss Ladies,” we put on bee suits and looked like we were ready for an all-out nuclear attack. We sat down and learned tons of cool facts from Noel, Miraval’s resident beekeeper.
All the bees working together function as a hive, with each type of bee having a specific function. Each of their roles is provided for the greater good of the hive. The hives we visited at Miraval are man-made, but many hives are built by bees. Nonetheless, no matter how the hives are built, they are fascinating to watch.
I could not help but think about this heavy correlation from the hive to a business. We each have our individual functions, and we should at all times know our role as it stands for the greater good of the organization. But, as business leaders, do we always reinforce that? I for one have been guilty of getting so focused on what I am doing that I forget about my greater role. What am doing to constantly communicate with my team?
Did you know that Queen Bees cannot feed themselves? And, Queen Bees are not born, but are bred? The Queen is usually at the center of the hive, and lay thousands of eggs per DAY. The other female bees in the hive are called the “worker bees” and male bees are called “drones.” The drones only function is to hunt and fertilize eggs. When the purpose they serve is over, out of the hive they go. Never to return. Where, the worker bees make sure everything simply gets done and functions well around the hive by making the combs and keeping the hive warm or cool. There are typically thousands of worker bees in hives during the busy months of May to September. Queens can live for three to five years, while worker bees live for a few weeks.
So, even the Queen Bee of a business is dependent on others to get her job done. Nobody works in a silo, and it is important to not only work in our roles to the best of our ability, but to communicate steps along the way to avoid duplicate work.
Just like all businesses have a culture, all hives have a culture. Some are more aggressive than others, and some more relaxed. Bees are not aggressive creatures, they are actually very docile. It is not until someone threatens their hive or their well-being that they can become aggressive.
At the end of the day, we are all looking to maximize our gold stuff, whether it is in the form of honey or profits. Now may “bee” a good time to evaluate just how healthy our hive is.