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Sweet Lessons From The Honeybee Lessons in work and life for an entrepreneur from the small buzzing bee.

By Prerna Raturi

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They have been around for millions of years and are vital for the survival of flowers. Honeybees, which are the only insects that produce food eaten by man, have been the subject of curiosity for decades, and have inspired poets and artists alike. They have life's lessons for entrepreneurs, too:

Teamwork: No less than 20,000-60,000 bees make a colony and communicate with one another by dancing. They work for each other, and with each other. Studies have shown how, if a group of honeybees fall behind, other members of the colony make up for it. They cooperate in such a way that thousands of honeybees work together as one organism.

Create something unique and good: Honey can be produced only by honeybees. Produced by the nectar of flowers, it is the only food that includes everything that is necessary to sustain life – water, minerals, enzymes, and vitamins. What's more, it is the only food that contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant that is associated with improved brain functioning.

Do it right: A honeybee chooses only the best and freshest flowers to collect nectar. It does not compromise on quality, which is why honey straight from the hive is always 100 per cent pure. It is in the honeybee's DNA to stay away from second-best flowers, knowing inherently that it will not be good for the product it is making.

Become efficient: "Busy as a bee" is a phrase that is oft misused. That's because if you are, indeed, as busy as a bee, if means you are extremely efficient as well. Did you know, for instance, that a large beehive has as many as 60,000 bees, which collectively travel about 55,000 miles and collect nectar from two million plants to make a pound of honey? What's more, their wings stroke incredibly fast – about 200 beats a second, which makes that distinctive buzzing sound.

Focus, focus, focus: The honeybee ecosystem would be in disarray if they didn't focus on their job single-mindedly. With the help of their highly developed 170 odorant receptors, collecting nectar is their goal in life. For the male bees, it is mating, while for house bees, it means always building hives. They do it without a grudge and without losing focus.

Prerna Raturi is writer, researcher and editor for the past eight years and writes for a number of newspapers and magazines. She started her journalistic career with Business Standard, and has also worked in the field of women's empowerment. Her interests include reading, writing, and adventure sports.
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