Risking It All In The Name of Growth: A Lesson From The Bees

The bees are doing something interesting this time of year.

To the unaware eye, they might look like they’re just swarming around a little extra. To the uninformed patio-sitter, they might even present a nuisance.

But you, Prism friend, are not unaware or uninformed, because you are here, reading this very blog! And we want to share with you another wonderful, completely natural thing the bees do that can teach us something very valuable about our own lives, too.

Lean in…

This time of year, a third of a colony of bees will leave their hive with the queen in search of a new home. They know they have saturated the resources in their existing environment. They know it is time to grow and move on.

And so, despite their innate desire—like ours— to stay comfortable and safe at home, they leave the safety of their hive in search of a new place to set up camp.

A cluster of bees surrounds the queen as they wait on a branch while “scouts” go and look for a new site to set up camp.

Without a hive for protection and no familiarity of their surroundings to feed on known sources, the bees are at their most vulnerable in this process. They’ve stored up food for the journey, and the scouts will gorge themselves on nectar to help feed the queen in the interim as well, but it is a dangerous time.

The bees know, though, what many of us struggle with at several points in our lives: that the risk of staying put is greater than the risk of venturing out into the unknown for the sake of growth. The bees know that if they stay in the same hive forever: they will die. But they also know that they need not take the risk alone. They go in community. They go as a team. They protect each other, feed each other, and search together for the next point of safety. No single bee could do it alone.

Where does this challenge show up for you? Where might you need to trade safety for growth? Let us learn from the bees. And before you swat at that next swarm, know that they are vulnerably daring to survive!