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The Beehive Model for team building

Bees and teams – what do they have in common?

2000 Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

A bee hive covered in a black bin bag hangs off of a tree, bees flying in and out of it.

Sainani Bikitala started a beekeeping club following CCT training in Kapanda village, central Malawi. Photo: Marcus Perkins/Tearfund

Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Motivating change – Footsteps 43

How to support changemakers in your community

by Chiku Malunga.

This article introduces ‘the Beehive Model’ of team building. It compares the work of teams with the way bees behave in a hive. It may help to raise awareness and understanding within organisations and community groups about the importance of using teams and of what makes a successful team. It may also provide ideas for looking at how existing teams perform.

What do we mean by teams? They are usually groups of between four to twelve people who meet together over time and solve problems together. Teams may help to:

  • cope with complicated situations because of their members’ varied experiences bring rapid responses maintain high motivation by valuing each individual member ensure high quality decisions.

Discussion starters

  • What makes bees an effective team?
  • Can we learn something about gender from the model?
  • How similar is this model to our team situation?
  • How different is it from our situation?
  • Is there anything we could do differently to be a more effective team?

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