Beehives as a Model for Team Work and Successful Business

Feb 2nd, 2017

All we have to do is observe a beehive for a few minutes for us to understand where the term “busy as a bee” comes from. The interesting part of a beehive is that what can look like disorganized activity to an outside observer, is actually highly synchronized “hive mind” activity, with the bees working diligently as a team. From foraging to hive repair to protecting the queen bee, the worker bees go about their business with focus unlike anything that we see in the human world.

Participating in the upcoming Office Depot Foundation Women’s Symposium 2017 was the source for interest in how queen bees, hives, and worker bees work together. The theme for this year’s symposium is Building Your Hive for Sweet Success: Life and Leadership questions for the Queen Bee. Using the bumble bee as inspiration, you will learn how to heighten your spirit of community, take better care of yourself, and have more meaningful relationships. The symposium is in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 17-18, 2017 and you can register here.

How can we use the queen bee and the hive as a model for team work and successful business practices in our own businesses and companies?

Only one queen bee exists for each hive. She produces the chemical scents (pheromones) that unite the hive and she lays all of the eggs. She is responsible for the strength and productivity of the community/hive.

From this idea, we take the importance of leadership skills to the health and productivity of the work force. Leaders need to communicate effectively with their staff, ensure transparency which makes employees feel more secure, and articulate the vision and process to achieve the vision to those who implement or build it. The presence of the queen bee in the hive and the perfume that she emits is what makes the worker bees feel secure that the hive is thriving and safe.

Bees are social and community-oriented. They have an advanced level of social organization with each bee executing their jobs for the survival of the hive. Responsibility is assumed naturally under the leadership of the queen bee who places expectations on her workers to meet her needs and give her the space to do her job. While the comparison from bee workers to humans does not sync perfectly, we can imagine the benefits of a confident leader who trusts her employees to do their jobs effectively and as a team.

Business in the 21st century for humans (!) is shifting from leadership mandates to collaboration, input and creativity from all employees. Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple have led the way for creative thinking and creative business and a higher employee engagement. Creative solutions and brainstorming not only gives employees a vested interest in the company, but encourages more autonomy and employees that are eager to take initiative. Good leaders have the vision and then build a team that can implement the vision. This includes hiring those who will thrive in a creative atmosphere.

Jobs in a beehive are allocated on the basis of age (experience) and there is a natural progression for each worker bee. The worker bees start at the bottom floor, so to speak, with cleaning and taking care of the young, Eventually, the worker bees do most of the jobs available in the hive and then are sent out to pollinate and collect pollen, food, and water.

Smart companies groom employees from day one to offer opportunities within the company. Employees are engaged with a company that promotes from within, teaches them new skills, and openly makes room for advancement. Leadership will find that there is a part of their current work force that is interested in learning other jobs, taking on more responsibility, and being first in line when an opportunity opens up.

Loyalty, community, dedication to leadership and their jobs are all ways that bees show us the model for great team work. Think about how your business measures up.

How can Fire Power Seminars help your team become stronger and more productive? If you are interested in fun, effective communication, team building, breakthrough and empowerment experiences, Fire Power Seminars welcomes the opportunity to be part of your strategic planning. Our corporate retreats and training seminars are designed to leverage employee engagement to attain more productivity and greater results. Unlike most programs available in today’s business world, we offer powerful seminars that directly engage every participant, helping them recognize limiting mindsets and guiding them to creative alternatives. Contact us to customize a plan for your team!

Karen Pfeffer
Karen is passionate about sharing powerful programs on communication, empowerment, team building and transformation. With a father from Kansas and a mother from Puerto Rico, Karen has a unique cultural mix that has inspired her to challenge stereotypes and “push the envelope” at every opportunity. She co-founded Fire Power Seminars with Connie Phelan in 2006 to empower individuals, organizations, and companies to achieve more than they ever thought possible.

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