6 Important Life Lessons From 50 Years As a Beekeeper
Q&A with Master Beekeeper & Comvita Co-Founder Alan Bougen
Amazement, gratitude and wonder are just 3 of the words Alan uses to describe working with bees for nearly half a century. Read on to discover “a truly fascinating world that only a beekeeper gets to observe and participate in.”
Here are Alan’s 6 life lessons learned from half a century living among the bees in pristine New Zealand Nature:
1. Rewards come through industriousness and hard work.
When you feel as though the work never stops, realize you are in the optimal flow of sharing your talent and craft - you’ve created a system that needs you. Alan kept pace with the bees and was able to share the world’s finest Manuka Honey with people everywhere.
2. Working as a community with every member playing their unique part makes for a harmonious society.
We are all players in a powerful symphony. Bees each have job roles and functions that keep the hive singing - by working together they are more powerful than the sum of their parts, able to build colonies that support tens of thousands of members and keep entire ecosystems in balance.
3. It’s best to have one queen in the kitchen – less chance of conflict!
Too many leaders makes the direction forward unclear. While inspiration comes from anywhere, leadership, feedback and setting the path forward needs one strong voice to follow. Bees designate and groom one queen early in her life to be the mother of the colony, and Alan allowed himself to be similarly positioned to bring New Zealand’s treasured, genuine Manuka Honey worldwide.
4. Communicating through movement and creative dance is a powerful medium for getting complex messages across to other community members.
Bees do a dance called the “waggle dance” to let each other know where to find the best nectar, pollen and propolis sources. When we have an urge to say something but don’t quite know “what" or “how”, you can often find other creative ways to communicate. Actions often speak louder than words!
5. Following nature’s rhythms where possible makes for a peaceful and more ordered life.
Nature lives in seasons: the birth in spring, the full bloom in summer, shedding the old in autumn and turning inward to germinate in winter. Bees and the rest of the natural world follow different patterns and lifestyles in each time of year, and we can similarly learn to attune with nature and shift our foods, sleep patterns and self care rituals for the changing Earth. Keep your immune system at its best with the help of Comvita UMF™ Manuka Honey, Propolis and Olive Leaf Extract - and the Comvita Kids line for the little nature enthusiasts in your life.
6. The deep realization that societies can definitely grow and prosper where the females are the ones in charge!!
Simply put, never underestimate the power of a true queen.