Tag Archives: beekeeper

The role of the steward in sustainability

Stewards delight the stakeholders.

Delighted bees produce lots of honey.

Delighted bees produce lots of honey.

In a business the customer and the employee are stakeholders.  These stakeholders derive a benefit from the business, participate in the business and have a say in the business.  The stakeholder operates out of self interest and participates in a small way in the business.

Above the stakeholder is the steward.  The steward is responsible for the whole business, they operate for the good of the business rather than out of self interest.  The steward is like a loving parent in that they will protect, feed and guide the business so that all the stakeholders benefit from a healthy happy and abundant business.

In the relationship between bees and the beekeeper it may be considered that the bees are the stakeholders and the beekeeper is the steward.  If a beehive has happy healthy bees the beehive will be abundant with honey.  The beekeeper as steward is focussed upon the needs of the bees so they remain healthy, happy and abundant.

The beekeeper has three roles as steward: protection, guide and feeder.  In protection the beekeeper protects the beehive from disease, weather, humans, vermin and poison.  As a guide the beekeeper may intervene in the activities of the beehive to assist the bees, for instance if there is problems in the egg laying of the queen bee.  As feeder the beekeeper provides access to resources of food and water for the bees.

The focus of the beekeeper as steward is on the well being of the bees in their care.  The steward as beekeeper will know their bees, see from their point of view, act in ways to delight rather than harm their bees.  The focus is bees first steward second.  Bran the Blessed amongst the Celtic peoples said: “let them who be chief be a bridge to their people”. The steward is a bridge to their bees. The bees see the steward as friend rather than enemy, one of them.

One may say of a beehive that it is an energy system, for which the steward seeks to be healthy, happy and abundant; that the beehive has processes which the steward assists for the best possible benefit to the beehive; and the stakeholders the bees who participate in the processes which the steward seeks to delight.

Delight is a wonderful word.  Delighted bees make lots of honey.  Delighted readers follow blogs.  Delighted customers pay lots of money.  Gardens that delight birds, butterflies and bees become an animal paradise.  Delight is part of a creative process, and the steward delights in all they do.

Being a big brother or sister to animals and plants

Supposedly as the most evolved of animals we have a duty to look after the planet.

Be a big brother or sister to animals and plants.

Be a big brother or sister to animals and plants.

I today wondered how we should view our relationship with plants and animals.  Even though we often fail to live up to our potential, we are the most evolved species so far to walk upon this planet.  In my opinion since we are the most advanced of the animal species, we are in a relationship of being like a big brother or sister to fellow animals and the plants on this planet. We have a duty of care to look after animals and plants like a big brother or sister.  We are the stewards of our planet.

If we accept our responsibility as stewards, then we must enter the relationship with animals and plants with respect.  Cute and beautiful our little brothers and sisters may be, but they are unpredictable and dangerous, with the capacity to do us harm.  That which we will steward need the space and the opportunity to manifest their needs, so we need to develop strategies of co-existence and support to animals and plants.

A video on YouTube, a teaser for a nature documentary by the BBC on polar bears shows why animals and plants should be respected.  A hungry mother polar bear attempted for 45 minutes to get at a human in a glass box in order to feed herself and her two cubs; all she was missing was a can opener.  The BBC is famous for its nature documentaries, and this film will appear on BBC 2 on 7th Jan 2013; and for a short time after will be available on BBC iPlayer.

thegreenline

Sustainability action 4 : found location for beehive

My dream of being a beekeeper is for me a huge leap into the unknown.  Fear and procrastination has dogged me, so my New Year resolution of “getting off the fence” by boldly going forward to do what needs to be done to achieve my dreams is now in play.  Large challenges can be broken down into smaller stages, which makes them easier to achieve in small steps.  A major obstacle was finding a location for a beehive.  A neighbour has agreed to the location of one beehive on their land free of charge, the reward of me boldly taking the plunge and asking my neighbour if they would host my beehive.

As I have no experience of beekeeping I am only going to have one beehive this year, and learn through trial and error as the year progresses by looking after that beehive.  Next challenge is putting together the funding for the equipment, bees and the beehive.  As far as sustainability is concerned, looking after bees is putting energy back into the environmental energy system.