For a while, my brother was in the beekeeping business. Bees are fascinating to watch, and there are several business lessons you can learn from them.
1. You can’t do everything. Bees have specialized jobs. Some bees are workers dedicated foraging for raw materials and stinging if the need arises. House bees make honeycomb and tend to the queen. Drones mate. While there is some cross training, (house bees will go forage if more food is needed) most bees have one job and are focused to do it well.
2. Their product has broad appeal. Honey is loved by many for its sweet flavor. It is healthy. It lasts forever. The wax is used for candles, cosmetics, and various food products. The fact they pollinate so many crops make them indispensable for food production. When your product appeals to many, success is almost a surety.
3. They rely on their queen. Just like the hive, every business needs a strong leader. When the queen is absent, morale is down, squabbling ensues and production falters.
4. They use social media. The dance bees use to communicate the location of the nectar is efficient, simple for the others to understand, and shared with many.
5. They work together for the good of all in the hive. The temperature in a hive is an almost constant 93 degrees. On a hot summer day, you can hear the flapping of thousands of bees’ wings inside the hive helping to cool the colony. In the winter they all huddle together to conserve heat and keep each other warm.
6. They are determined. A bee returning to the hive will fly straight through obstacles to reach their destination. If you don’t keep the weeds cut in front of the hive, bees will literally beat their wings off flying through the obstructions to return with their cargo.
7. They adapt. Favorite flowers not blooming… no problem. Bees will move to other sources of nectar based on what’s available. You can even pick up bees and move them (many commercial beekeepers do) to an entirely different region and within an hour, workers will be out collecting nectar from the new locale.
8. They produce more than necessary. Bees don’t stop making honey when they hit the minimum requirement. They put more in store in case the winter is harsh or flowers are not blooming as usual. We collect this “extra” honey and the bees don’t get discouraged. They make more!
Nature is an awesome teacher. Why not put these bee lessons to work in your business today!