Imagine a blade of grass. It grows and looks pretty. It can’t move, but it does bend to the prevailing wind. Its function is to be cut down, chewed up, or pulled out. Each blade looks just like the other and can be easily replaced.
Now imagine a bee. It flies freely pollinating across many miles. On its own it creates buzz. When working together as a hive, it can deliver sweet results. Nurture it with a varied diet and you will improve the quality and abundance of its reward. But neglect it, and you will get no honey. Worse still, if you agitate it, you will get stung.
As a beekeeper your role is to harvest high quality honey without destroying your precious bees. You understand that your job is not without risks and you appreciate that you must be cautious to avoid a sting. But you are prepared to handle a few pricks if it means you can keep the rest of the hive focused on its primary task creating superior honey!
You also understand that not all bees are the same. Your ‘worker bees’ are your champions, returning again and again to share most of the load. Your ‘queen bees’ are few, but their power to spread the seed of your ideas is immense. While they are essential to keep the hive buzzing, sometimes they need to be replaced. So, you must always keep your eyes open to prepare the next queen in line.
Your ‘drones’ are lazy one-hit-wonders that contribute little to hive life. But, when the time is right, they can create quite the spectacle before falling back down to earth and their ultimate demise.
A successful hive is scalable, allowing the swarm to grow and adjust during different climates. To keep honey production high, the bees must be provided abundant and varied sources of pollen. To ensure longevity, the honeycomb cannot be over-harvested or the bees may tire, leading to the eventual collapse of the hive.
Predators are also a risk, especially parasites who try to latch on to your bees and feed off their efforts. Therefore, a beekeeper is ever watchful, looking for any small sign that trouble may be brewing. By tackling challenges early, the beekeeper can fend off the pests before major damage is done.
So, what are you, a ‘groundskeeper’ or a ‘beekeeper’?