The Good of the Hive is thrilled to have been invited to paint bees on the side of Burt’s Bees Headquarters - the historic Hill Building at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, NC. During Burt’s Bees annual Culture Day, four hundred Burt’s Bees employees from the factory workers to the General Manager, painted a petal of one of the flowers. The whole day was about coming together. Thank you to The Goodmon Family for allowing us to paint on their beautiful building. The mural is one of several in the series that will be about the swarm.
The swarm is an incredible, natural behavior of a healthy honeybee hive. It is often perceived as something aggressive and terrifying, but nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, it is one of the most elegant and sublime experiences in the natural world. The bees place themselves and their precious queen in an extremely vulnerable position for the possibility of growth. It is the natural expansion of a healthy, thriving, hive. It is an amazing example of the bees acting as one mind or super-organism.
The swarm is also a symbol of a new beginning.
Burt Schavitz’ first bees were ones he collected from a swarm that landed in his yard in Maine. By simply appearing, the bees inspired a business. Burt is quoted as saying, “It wasn’t as if I’d summoned these bees down, or gone looking for them. It was an act of God. It was a no brainer. Now I had a way of making some money. I had all of the tools and the knowledge, the literature, the ability to do just as my guru had done.” An age-old relationship of man to bee was honored. He had done the work to learn how to keep bees, and then the bees appeared.
The Good of the Hive is never about any one man or woman. It is about all of us connecting around the issue of a declining bee population and doing what we can to repair it. But with that said, there are few people that have done what Burt Schavitz did in his lifetime. In his humble and peculiar way, he brought honeybees directly into the minds and homes of millions of people around the world… and that is a very good thing.