Big things come in small packages.
At least, that’s how the idiom goes—reminding us that the size of something is hardly ever indicative of its impact.
Perhaps whoever coined that expression was thinking of bees. After all, these small insects do much more than invite themselves to the occasional summer barbeque.
Bees play an immense role in our world. These little creatures are simply amazing and we can learn a lot from them.
Bees and the Ecosystem
Albert Einstein has a lot of great quotes about many different subjects attached to his name.
In fact, he even has one directly related to the critters we’re discussing here.
“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, humanity would have no more than four years to live,” Einstein once boldly declared. At the time of this quote, perhaps people were quick to dismiss his words. But recently, people across the world have begun to acknowledge just how crucial bees are to our ecosystem. This is in large part due to the recent “Save the Bee” campaign, which brands and individuals alike have started to embrace.
Here’s the skinny: bees are fantastic, and without them, our world would surely look different. Bees pollinate many of our delicious crops. In fact, cherries and blueberries are 90% dependent on bee pollination.
But, they also pollinate the plants we use to feed our livestock and keep them healthy. And of course, where would we be without the beautiful flowers bees pollinate all around us? Fun fact: a single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day! Many animals depend on bees pollinating flowers because the flowers are a source of food and a part of the natural habitat.
As you can see, bees are truly an essential part of what makes this world function. At Esko, we also have started to take action to help create a world that is more accommodating to bees.
Beehives on the Roof: How the Esko Belgium Office is Helping Save the Bees
When Koen De Croo, a solutions architect at the Gent, Belgium Esko office, came forward about his idea to install beehives on the roof of the building, he wanted to do so as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. CSR moves are becoming more prevalent for brands these days, which we’ll get into later.
Specifically, De Croo was looking to provide a space in an otherwise uninhabitable office building for bees. In doing so, these bees are given a great opportunity to flourish and grow their population. On the top of an office building—what would seemingly appear to be an unlikely place for bees— these little creatures are given a place of refuge.
In addition, the beehive initiative has also helped bring awareness to the need for bees in our world, as well as bring attention to issues like climate change—a key factor in the bees population decline.
And, of course, the bees produce honey, which is a benefit in its own—especially for the bakers of the office.
Why it’s on Us (Businesses) to Step Up Our Sustainability Efforts
Not only does being more conscious of our energy consumption, where we are sourcing materials, and our overall waste help combat the damage our environment has already sustained, but it’s better for the long-term success of our businesses as well.
Think about it this way, with no planet, there is no Esko. Or your business. Or really, any business. The more we take care of the world around us, the more sustainable our business will be too. The very definition of sustainable is “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.”
So, what’s good for the earth, is also good for your business.
Putting business aside, we should all want to take care of our planet because it is our home. And that’s the bottom line.
What We Can All Learn From Bees
The parallels between beehives and the average company are quite uncanny. Just like how a business has various roles within it (marketing manager, salesperson, human resources specialist, accountant, etc.), bees take the same approach when it comes to their beehives.
For example, there are foragers, cleaners, drones, undertakers (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like), nurses, builders, temperature controllers, guards, and, of course, worker bees. Workers bees are actually the ones who constantly leave the safety of their hives to forage for pollen and nectar—which ultimately helps keep the entire ecosystem flourishing.
With a clearly defined role, each bee within the beehive carries out its duties day-in-and-day-out. They work together in perfect harmony to ensure the success of the hive. When looking at the inner workings of a beehive, one aspect we can all take away from these tiny critters is their ability to follow a proven process, which produces consistent results every day.
And, while the bees themselves don’t recognize just how vital they are to the world, we (humans) do realize our impact on nature. Think of your own business as a hive, filled with worker bees who all want what’s best for your company. Just as a bee’s day-to-day job of going out and spreading pollen positively affects both the world and their hive, your own operations can do the same.
By investing in sustainable energy, materials, and supply chain management, you’ll not only be setting your company up for success but the earth as well.