A Honey Bee’s Guide to Time Management

Honey Bees are amazing creatures. They have been around for millions of years — and are the only insect that produces food for humans.

Bees work harder than any person on the planet, and one worker bee will spend her entire life working to make just 1/12th teaspoon of honey.

Executives ask me all the time for tips on helping them manage their time more efficiently. That’s why I developed a groundbreaking lecture on how to excel at time management and productivity based on my research on worker bees at the University of California, San Diego.

Here are snippets from my 2-hour time management course:

Nap more. Sleep less.
If you want to stay productive, you need to follow the example of a worker bee that spends her entire life working. She collects pollen and nectar during the day, and works all night in the hive. These bees take very brief naps, and constantly work to avoid getting punished by the Queen Bee. In fact, Benajmin Franklin had a similar nap philosophy after studying bee colony habits.

Live like you only have 42 days to live.
The average worker bee will only live for 6 weeks. From the moment she is born, she knows the clock is ticking (Harder, 22). She’s got 6 weeks to live her life before she’s dead. Some people I know would feel very anxious and worried, but a bee just moves on with her life and tries to be as productive as possible. You’ll never find a depressed bee because they don’t have time to be depressed. They simply deliver as much pollen as they can for their community before they die.

Always Be Collecting.
Bees work on a merit system and rewarded based on the amount of pollen they collect. They are responsible for collecting as much pollen as possible, and encouraged to visit 50 to 100 flowers per collection period (Kawaguchi, 23). The worker bees that deliver the most pollen each day are rewarded with praise from their peers, while the bees that delivered the least amount of pollen are shunned from the community and asked to stay outside of the comb for the night (Klein, 65). It’s brutal life, but it’s nature’s way of keeping them productive and motivated.

Consume only honey.
A bee survives on honey, and I suggest you do the same. Put away your vending machine food, and sip on pure organic honey. Fill your mouth full of honey and let it just ooze down your throat. You’ll be amazed at how fast your body will absorb this medicine and watch how your body performs. You’ll have more energy, and be much more productive by only consuming honey.**

Work in a matriarchal corporate environment
I know this sounds unorthodox, but executives need to hear this: bees are successful at being productive because they live in a matriarchy under the strict rules of a queen. Angry women are much more scary than angry men. It’s a fact of nature. Think about how a mother bear will protect her young. In a bee hive, bees are threatened with harsh punishment if they don’t continually work. Bees caught napping too long will end up in the darkest caverns of the comb and kept in isolation for 15 day minimum (which is ⅓ of their lifespan). The screams from within these caverns are frightening, and no bee ever wants to get sent there (Yokoi,45).

For my complete presentation “Bee on Time Management,” I’ll be announcing DVDs and CDs very soon.  Subscribe to this blog to keep updated.

**Please consult your doctor before beginning this energizing new diet.


Harder, L.D. (1983) Flower handling efficiency of bumble bees: morphological aspects of probing time. Oecologia 57, 274–280.

Kawaguchi, L. G. (2006) Do bumble bees save time when choosing novel flowers by following conspecifics?. Functional Ecology 20(2)

Klein, Barrett (2008) Caste-dependent sleep of worker honey bees, The Journal of Experimental Biology

Yokoi, Tomoyuki (2008) Recognition of scent marks in solitary bees to avoid previously visited flowers. Ecological Research, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B March 12, 2011 366:703-708

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