For quite some years Qhuba people have been involved in beekeeping. Throughout these years we learned a lot about how honeybees work, how sustainable they are and noticed there is a lot to learn from them. Not only as people, but also as companies.

Here are some key lessons we can learn from honeybees:

  1. Effective Communication

Honeybees use a sophisticated system of communication, including the “waggle dance”, to convey information about the location of food sources. How funny it would be to see your colleagues do a waggle dance to show you where you can find your lunch! Not sure that is very efficient, but effective communication is key in all companies. It is always a good idea to see how your communication channels work and how your employees receive, for example, company goals and strategies. A question you can ask yourself is: Is my communication sufficiently clear and effective to keep my employees motivated to work on common goals?

  1. Division of Labor

In a bee colony, different bees have specialized roles, such as foragers, hive maintenance, nurses, ventilation, guards and of course food collection. Honeybees live for six weeks. During those six weeks they will step up the ladder to become a bee that collects honey. It is totally clear, from the day that they are born, what this bee should do. Similarly, companies can benefit from clearly defining roles and responsibilities, allowing employees to focus on their strengths and improve overall productivity. A lot has been written about how to select, educate, keep and maintain employees. Looking at honeybees at work, there is a feeling of military discipline.  This won’t suit every company and especially not every person. Focusing on the strengths of your employees creates creativity and most of all happiness.

  1. Collaboration and Teamwork

Bees work together seamlessly to achieve common goals, such as building and maintaining the hive or collecting nectar. If there are not enough bees to do this, they will eventually die. Companies can foster a culture of collaboration where teamwork is encouraged and rewarded. Not only internal collaboration is needed, but also working with the outside world can create new insights and great achievements. At Bijenbaas we collaborate with many different companies that lead us to our ultimate goal: creating more biodiversity in the Netherlands. We cannot do this by ourselves, that’s why we collaborate with Bio-farmers, companies who put hives on their roofs and other people who want to leave the next generation a better place. Collaboration leads to more innovative solutions and higher employee satisfaction throughout different companies.

  1. Adaptability and Flexibility

Honeybees are highly adaptable to changing environments and challenges. For example: Some bees can detect and remove diseased or parasitized brood, reducing the spread of infections. Companies can learn to be more flexible by staying attuned to market changes, being open to new ideas, and quickly adjusting strategies when necessary. This applies equally when you look at being more sustainable with your company. There are so many ways to start small, take along your employees on this journey and go bigger and bigger. Adapt to the changes of climate change, be an example to the next generation, and collaborate while doing that.

  1. Efficient Resource Use

Bees are extremely efficient in their use of resources, ensuring that nothing goes to waste. A way how they do that is by taking waste material outside the hive during “cleansing flights,” especially on warm days, keeping the hive interior clean. Companies can strive for greater efficiency by optimizing processes, reducing waste, and finding sustainable practices that conserve resources.

  1. Leadership and Decision Making

In a bee colony, decisions are made through a collective process that involves input from many members. To be frank, these decisions are only made by the female workers in the hive. Not suggesting you should only let women make decisions of course! But companies can improve their decision-making by involving a diverse group of employees, encouraging different perspectives, and reaching a consensus that benefits the whole organization.

  1. Innovation and Continuous Improvement

Bees constantly seek out new sources of nectar and pollen, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement. If they want, they can fly out three kilometers to collect the nectar and pollen and fly those three kilometers back. As a company, you should encourage innovation by investing in research and (market) development, staying curious about industry trends, and continuously seeking ways to improve products and services.

  1. Community Focus

Bees work for the benefit of the entire hive, ensuring the survival and success of their community. This is their number one rule. Companies can adopt a similar mindset by engaging with and contributing to their communities, building strong relationships with stakeholders, and creating shared value. It is always interesting to see what other communities are creating and research how you as a person, but also as a company, can help.

  1. Resilience and Sustainability

Bee colonies are resilient and can recover from setbacks, such as harsh weather or predators. Honeybees contribute significantly to sustainability through their various roles in pollination, biodiversity support, and ecosystem services. The contribution in ecosystem services lies in the plants pollinated by honeybees that contribute organic matter to the soil, improving its structure and fertility. They are essential pollinators for many crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This pollination increases crop yields and quality, contributing to food security and agricultural productivity. Companies can build resilience by planning for risks, maintaining strong support systems, and focusing on long-term sustainability rather than short-term gains. While short-term gains might provide immediate benefits, long-term sustainability ensures that a company remains viable, competitive, and successful in the future, aligning with broader societal and environmental goals.

Do you need help setting your long-term sustainability goals, or with how to implement this? We are always available to see how we can help you making these steps. You can contact us via