Thinking Like A Honeybee

Consider the lowly honeybee. The typical worker bee lives about six weeks in summer and twenty weeks in winter. Most of this time is spent gathering nectar to make honey. But with a small body size and a short lifespan, each individual bee’s contribution is minuscule. According to beekeeper Marianne Gee in Ottawa, Canada, “a bee in her lifetime makes only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey.” That’s a tiny fraction of what a hive needs to survive through a Canadian winter. On top of that, because of the short lifespan, an individual bee won’t directly benefit from this contribution.

But the hive’s future generations will. And there are about 50,000 bees in a hive, so together all these individual efforts will ensure the colony’s success.

So what have we learned? Today, we have some major problems confronting us. And I’m sure most of us don’t know how to start on solutions. Or even if our contributions will make a difference.

There is only one thing to do — start thinking like honeybees. In other words, do what you can, join with others, and change will come, one “busy bee” at a time.

This was taken from the article “If you want to tackle big problems, try thinking like a bee” by Mary Halton ( The picture came from this article.

Beekeeper Marianne Gee expands on this topic in a TED talk “Want to Change the World? Think Like a Bee” which can be accessed from a link in Halton’s article. Gee’s website can be accessed by clicking on her name in the first paragraph.

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