Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bee Hive Metaphor

Each of us is composed of many different aspects of personality, as the division of labour is divided amongst a society of bees. Some of these roles may appear more dominant than others, as we all tend to have dominant traits. But in order to function optimally, each role needs to be recognised, developed, and receive an equal amount of credit for its contribution to the survival of the hive.

Members of the hive:

The queen is the sexually mature member of the hive. She is well taken care of by the other members of the hive who see that she is well fed and kept clean. The queen is an example of our need to be nurtured and our physical requirements in order for our entire being, or hive, to survive.

Worker bees have a variety of specialised roles -

Cleaner bees are responsible for the tidiness of the hive. If the cells of the hive are not sufficiently clean, the queen will not use them. This is a reflection of how important our physical environment is to our well-being and growth. (See environmental psychology). Not only does our environment affect our mental health, but cleanliness is also important for our physical health (even small things like dusting can improve our allergies and immune system). Similarly, other bees work are responsible for propolising the hive which aids in keeping the hive clear of bacteria and fungi and provides ventilation.

Nurse bees tend to the larvae. This can be seen as the need to nurture our childish side ensuring play, creativity, and ambition.

Wax bees produce the materials needed for hive construction and are responsible for the building and upkeep of hive cells. These bees may represent the need for constant maintenance, both emotionally and physically, and also serve to remind us of certain material necessities, emotional and physical. Builders also aid the construction of the hive. This could represent cooperation between our different aspects.

Some bees are responsible for storing honey and pollen, a reminder to plan for future contingencies and to ensure nutrients are available.

Other bees are responsible for feeding; it is not enough to simply have healthy food around, it must also be delivered, or eaten.

The queen’s attendants clean and feed the queen – hygiene, and again nutrition, are vitally important. Also, not only is it important to be tended to, but it is also important to assume the role of attendee and know how to care for the self and others.

Mortuary bees remove the dead from the hive by carrying them a distance from the hive. I think this not only represents the honour we should show the deceased who were important to us, but it also serves as a metaphor for how we should treat past events that we need to let go of – with care, grace, and respect.

Fanning bees control the temperature and air flow in the hive. Ambient temperature can affect sleep and mood. (See also Heat Therapy).

Guard bees protect the hive and its members. Although too much caution or violence can be a bad thing, it is important to ensure the safety of your physical and mental self by either avoiding dangerous situations or, when necessary, but standing your ground (in extreme cases, one may have to physically defend themselves, but we also need to protect ourselves from negative attitudes – both our own and from others).

Foragers gather food and material. They are also responsible for communicating to other foragers where supplies may be located. This may represent our practical self which needs to tend to day-to-day activities such as paying bills, ensuring food and toiletries are in stock, making appointments, running errands…

Here is an interesting article on how the division of labour is determined in bees.

No comments:

Post a Comment