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Lessons from bees

columns Updated: Mar 21, 2013 22:43 IST
Rajesh Krishan
Rajesh Krishan
Hindustan Times
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One day, while strolling in the garden near my home, I caught sight of some people throwing stones at a tree. They were wearing protective clothing including gloves and masks. As it turned out, they were trying to remove a honeybee hive.

They lit a fire to scare away the bees. Some of the bees were burnt while the remaining flew away. I left the scene feeling sad that the bees were evicted out of their home.

A few days later, I returned to the garden and found that the bees were back on the tree. This time they had built their hive on the top of the tree, away from the human eye. A resident of the area told me that the hive had been removed from the tree several times but the bees returned the next day.

I wondered whether I had wasted my time pitying the bees. This occurred to me because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about life, it’s that one shouldn’t pity those who know how to overcome obstacles in life. The bees had passed through hardships and had bravely surmounted them.

As I paused to watch the bees, I realised that there was much that men could learn from these small creatures. They may be small in size but their persistence, tenacious spirit, single-minded focus, unity and hard-work can be a lesson to all of us. Yet, many of us choose to look at their ferocity, ignoring the fact that they sting only when sufficiently riled, in self-defense.

In some cultures, it’s believed that if a yellow honeybee buzzes past you, it’s a sign of good luck. For some people, bees are sacred as it’s believed that the purpose of bees’ labour in all they do is their devotion to God. And, who can forget what they give us — honey!