What do you think when you think about teamwork? When I started getting interested in beekeeping, I was amazed to find out what a great organization a honey bee colony is. I think we all could learn some from their dynamic colonies. A honey bee colony like any business organization has teams and a leader.
In his book Beekeeping a Practical Step-by-Step Guide, David Cramp explains how the honey bees’ entities operate. The two honey bee teams -the workers and the drones- along with their queen work together as a unit to cope with the challenges that might arise. Each team carries out a number of complex tasks such as obtaining food, protecting, and maintaining the colony. And each team member knows exactly what and when to perform its tasks.
Honey bees also have the capacity of adapting if the circumstances require so. For instance, if they need more water to keep the hive cool, then, more worker bees are sent out to collect the water. Moreover, they know when to make a change. A colony of honey bees will relocate if the hive gets too crowded; they will create a new queen and the colony will divide into two. This decision of splitting is taken by consensus. The worker bees, through some sounds and a dance, will advise the queen that it is time to swarm.
I think honey bees are a good example of teamwork, cooperation, and hard work. Every member works for a common objective; they not only follow their leader (the queen) but they protect her as well. And at the same time, the queen works for the good of the colony. And ultimately, they produce a wonderful product: honey!
Try some honey in your coffee or in your cup of tea and think about teamwork!