Lessons from a Bee

I love bees (even though one stung me on my toe when I was a little girl). Bees are amazing and do so much good. Here are some interesting facts that I bet you didn’t know.

Each beehive contains 20-60,000 bees.

To produce just one pound of honey, the bees must collectively visit millions of flowers and travel the equivalent of 2 times around the world. 

A bee’s life span is just a few weeks to 4 months. Can you imagine going twice around the world in that time? No wonder the phrase Busy Bee came to be.

A single bee contributes a mere 1/12 of a teaspoon.

Have you ever felt like a bee, buzzing to and fro in your busy life with not much to show for your efforts?

If you have, don’t despair. Look at the bigger picture. Even though each bee’s contribution is small, each is vital to the life of the hive. Bees depend on each other to do their share of the chores. Work that would overwhelm a few bees becomes lighter when all the bees do their part.

So it is with us. We don’t wear black and yellow stripes, nor do we buzz (well, maybe a few of us do if you’re drinking too much Red Bull). But we each have a small load to carry and if we learn from each other, serve each other, and remember that we’re all part of something bigger, then we’ll be united in purpose and great things can happen.

It’s when we get selfish that we start feeling insignificant. We cut ourselves off from others and buzz around a few solitary flowers, trying to find enough nectar to survive, but we’re only going to get 1/12 of a teaspoon. Pathetic.

When we are kind to others, our teaspoon fractions add up to delicious overflowing honey. We don’t have to wait for big things to pool our efforts (like natural disasters). We can make a difference each day through small, compassionate acts (a smile, a kind word, a listening ear). Think of what a great impact millions of these acts done around the world each day would make.

Bees help me remember to:

Bee Good.

Bee Kind.

Bee Honest.

Bee Smart

Bee Grateful

Bee Prayerful

Bee Brave

Service doesn’t have to be grand or hard to do. Bees focus on one flower at a time and give their best efforts. What do we focus on most? Wouldn’t it be great if we used prayer to ask God to guide us each day in recognizing opportunities to serve others—to help us keep the right focus in life so we aren’t useless like wasps? (I don’t like wasps)

Spring is in the air, and the honeybees will be out in a few months too. When you see them focusing on their work, I hope you’ll let them remind you to focus on yours too, and reach out in kindness to someone each day. Your life will be sweet if you do.

Char Signature

29 thoughts on “Lessons from a Bee

  1. What a sweet post! Although I feel I must speak up a little for the underdog here, wasps, while I agree they are real pains the butt, they do actually pollinate too and so their contribution to the workings of nature is highly valuable, particularly in times of declining honey bees! 🙂

    • I hope they do something good (the wasps). They were so bad last year that I was getting scared to walk in my yard. I got mass attacked once weeding and now I despise them.

  2. Oh, I just loved this. So well done. Thank you for these wonderful words of inspiration today! Just what I needed to start my week!

    • You’re welcome. Hoping to see bees soon. But it snowed this morning…so I guess they’ll keep hibernating or hunckering down wherever they are for a few more months. Sigh.

  3. Great article.
    The Minnesota State Fair has an area for bees. There are products for sale, recipes are available, demos, someone there to talk about bees, bees in a cage and best of all are the items made from beeswax. These people get ribbons for their work just like other craft items.

    • That sounds so cool. I would want to visit that area if I’m ever in Minnesota at the time of the State Fair. I’ll have to look up things made out of beeswax.

  4. What a great analogy to show your thoughts! If we could all be respectful of others’ thoughts, rights, and feelings the world would be such a better place. We can all do more as a team than as individuals fighting for own our selfish interests.

    • Yeah. I’m always amazed at how happy I feel from just seeing someone smile at me or call me by name when I’m somewhere and we bump into each other. It doesn’t take much to lift another’s spirit.

  5. Such an important reminder. Think of how much more effective, humane, and pleasant this world would be if everyone practiced your ‘Bee’ facts. I think you should trademark them. 🙂

  6. I love bees too, Char. I saw a documentary recently about bees fighting off those huge wasps from their hive and it nearly had me in tears! But I love this post 😉

    • I didn’t know that wasps terrorized bees as well (now I hate them even more). I know bees sting too, but its only when we attack them (like when I stepped on one). Wasps attack when they see you it seems. I’m still a little bitter against them since they mass attacked me last summer while I was weeding. Scariest feeling ever; they don’t stop.

      • That’s awful, Char. I don’t like wasps at all. I’ve never been ‘mass attacked’ but have had a few very nasty stings. You must have been terrified! 😦

        • Yeah, I am glad no one recorded my hysterics. I was thrashing and sprinting across the yard for my dear life. Thank goodness my husband had the good sense to load me up on Benadryl and Tylenol. I thought my hands would never stop hurting. I meant to destroy them after that, but every time I’d go out with the wasp spray, I was too chicken to get close enough to do any damage…I was just ready to run.

  7. Thanks for the timely reminder! I see so many people that tend to forget we’re all connected one way or another. Everybody is just so busy with their own lives and don’t care what’s going on with people around them.

    Bees are really cool creatures and I love photographing them because they’re so busy, they don’t care I’m right there. Although I try not to get right in their faces. I’m not that rude!

  8. Have you thought of being a beekeeper? I met one once and he was really into it – it looked like a lot of fun. I love your flower-bee photos and can’t wait to see everything bloom again hopefully soon!

  9. I’m sure you have read “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. Great symbolism about bees and how we can apply their lessons to our lives. Your post is really “sweet.” 🙂

    • I haven’t read this book yet, but just added it to my list so I don’t forget about it. My friends’ reviews are all over the place about it, so it should be a good one to see what I think of it.

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