The Cornerstone Group

The Cornerstone Group

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Why We Love Our Jobs

Colleen, TCG's president, uses the heated knife to cut off the wax seal the bees make to keep their honey in the combs.

Colleen, TCG’s president, uses the heated knife to cut off the wax seal the bees make to keep their honey in the combs.

This morning, The Cornerstone Group leadership team got a sweet treat. For three hours, we had an immersive hands-on, honey-dipped class taught by the inspiring and smart women who run Beez Kneez.

We met at their Honey House where urban, small scale bee keepers can rent their one-of-a-kind bicycle-powered honey extractors to process their honey. Kristy and Erin, the founders of Beez Kneez, let us try everything ourselves and answered our millions of questions with thoughtful answers.

Merrie, our Director of Finances, takes a turn on the bicycle powered extractors.

Merrie, our Director of Finances, takes a turn on the bicycle powered extractors.

We took four frames through the process of scraping off their white wax and then spinning the dripping honey off in the extractor station. Kristy put a bucket underneath the spigot and out poured the fresh, fragrant and smooth honey. We dipped our fingers in the gold river and tasted the honey that minutes before had been sealed in the bee’s combs.

We thanked Kristy and got on our bikes to ride to the Prospect Park Community Garden: Cornerstone. Erin sat us down and wowed us with the matriarchal magic of these fascinating creatures. After we knew more about their hive mentality, their reproductive strategies, and the roles each type of bee plays, we put on our suits, unlocked the gate that surrounds the hives, and became surrounded by the busy buzz and hum of thousands of bees.

We were on a mission to identify all of the elements of the lives of bees that we had just learned about. Because we are a team of powerful women, we became focused on searching through row after row of frames to find the queen. But what we took away was what there is to learn from bees. Erin recommended the book Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D Seely for further reading. In it, the following quote summarizes the heart of these remarkable creatures:

We looked carefully in search of the one queen bee nestled in the middle of all the action.

We looked carefully in search of the one queen bee nestled in the middle of all the action.

“What works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader’s influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.” This is why we love our jobs. Because we strive to be like bees in our work. And we strive to build communities where bees can be healthy. Because Healthy Bees=Healthy Lives.

Thank you bees and Beez Kneez for teaching us so many important lessons.

Sign up for your own customized class through their website HERE.

The bees never stop working and we never stop benefiting from them.

The bees never stop working and we never stop benefiting from them.

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