Learning community strength from bees during times of uncertainty

What we love about bees is how their community works together in harmony to support the sustainability of the colony. A beehive is a superorganism, a self-governing autonomous community that we can learn much from. What do bees do in critical times and how have Bee One Third adapted since the pandemic?

During times of uncertainty, such as after swarming while bees are setting up a new home, they join together to get work done. The behaviour is called Festooning, where bees will literally hold each other up as they quickly build structures within their new home.

We too have been ‘festooning’ inside our little ‘hive’, building away inside our newly acquired shed (in Coopers Plains) building and upgrading our facilities for the season ahead.

During this period of COVID-19, lockdown we have had to band together (figuratively, not literally) like the bees do. It is time for us as humans to stay connected, both emotionally, psychologically and some-what physically – albeit at more than 1.5m apart. We need to feel as though we are making positive, adaptive and sustainable change with our small or wider communities.

We're stronger together, just like the bees, festooning to achieve a common goal.
Bee One Third have been making use of our downtime over winter 2020 to adapt to new ways of working as a team: virtually and from home, in small teams at the new factory working as hard as our busy worker bees.

We have installed a clear roofing panel to let in natural light to our factory floor, 2 new processing rooms along with a range of new pallet shelving. We are so excited to see the growth of our little positive pollination company over the course of the season ahead.

The 2020/21 season is already feeling like a far more prosperous season than the season just past, with brood nests expanding nicely and nectar being imported just 1 month from Spring. We caught our first coastal swarm on July 30th, a sign from the bees that things are looking positive.

The 2019/20 season was the worst season in recorded history according to data, combined with the worst bush fires Australia has ever seen, the *hopeful* tail end of one of the worst droughts in recorded history as well as a serious lack of flowering, nectar filled flowers, leaving the bees with little to no food to thrive let alone survive. We are excited to say, this Spring is looking like the bees will bounce back.

Through this time, we continue to support local businesses and tradespeople in our community, buying local and shopping local during times of need and difficulty. Like with all things, we are aiming for progress not perfection. We have seen an immense level of support over the last four months of COVID, and if feels only right to support those who have supported us – our wider community. Just like the bees, we have learned that lots of little steps add up to a big impact: Bringing the community together in a delicate scaffold, holding onto each other in a virtual space, and working collectively for the common goal.