Think like a bee

Ali Blythe

The buzz around campus has been twofold, of late.

One, how to tackle the complex and seemingly unsurmountable problems our world is facing.

Two, gardens (now free) and their most important patrons: the honeybees (we’re building an apiary in the old tennis courts).

What might one have to do with the other?

In “If you want to tackle big problems, try thinking like a bee”, beekeeper Marianne Gee says that we can become disheartened by our own relatively small contributions, like bringing reusable bags to the shop, to a relatively enormous one, like climate change.

Instead of thinking our contributions are just too insignificant, we should think like a bee, she says.

A bee in her brief lifetime will make only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey.

That’s a miniscule amount compared to the hundreds of pounds a bee colony needs to survive.

And that bee won't even taste the results of her labour. But future generations will.

Together the colony makes enough honey for future bee generations to thrive — 1/12th of a teaspoon at a time.

Gee says that “this too is how we can change the world — by not worrying about the size of our contributions and by letting our efforts join the actions of others.”