Be Like a Bee: 5 Lessons Beekeeping Can Teach us About Work

By | Building a Company, Communication, Culture, Healthy Stuff, Team Member Spotlight | No Comments

My interest in beekeeping started at a farmer’s market. There’s always a booth with local honey at the farmer’s market I love to visit at the beach. When I visited for the first time, I sampled many different types of honey and other bee products. I also got into a conversation with the beekeepers at the booth and found out about the many uses for honey, how it’s made, and about the importance of bees. I was intrigued ever since that day!

My father-in-law loves honey, so whenever I travel, I always pick up local honey from whatever city I visit. After doing this several times, I decided it might be worthwhile to consider keeping bees and harvesting my own honey. That, paired with the fact that my husband has called me “Sue Bee” (the name of a brand of honey) for years, cinched that beekeeping needed to become my hobby.

Bees are fascinating creatures. They live in a colony made up of worker bees, drones, and only one queen bee, and all play a specific role in the survival of the hive. All worker bees are female and literally work themselves to death. They are essential to a colony and have many different roles. To name a few jobs worker bees do:

  • Foragers: These bees leave the hive and bring back pollen and nectar.
  • Nurses: These bees feed larvae, as well as tend to and support the queen.
  • Temperature controllers: These bees ventilate the hive to ensure the honey temperature is right.
  • Builders: These bees keep the hive clean as well as provide wax to construct the hive.
  • Security guards: These bees defend the hive and keep out pests.

Who run the bee world? Girls!!

The male bees are called drones, and their only purpose is to fertilize new queens from another hive. Drones are very lazy, though. They like to stay in the hive and eat honey until the worker bees decide they’ve had enough and kick them out. Once a drone fertilizes a queen, it dies.

There’s also the most important bee in the hive – the queen bee. She’s the only member of the colony who lays fertilized eggs, and the other bees tend to her every need since she keeps the colony growing. She lays about 2,000 eggs a day and lives for 2 to 3 years if the hive stays healthy. Although every bee plays a different role, they’re all doing their jobs for one goal: ensuring survival of the colony.

A bee colony is like a team, with everyone working toward fulfilling a mission. But the hive must be healthy. If it’s not, the bees will leave or not survive (this actually happened with my first colonies). It reminds me a lot of the workplace. If your work environment isn’t healthy, you’re more likely to want to leave. Fortunately, bees can teach us a few lessons we can apply to our own lives.

#1: Trust the bees.

Lack of trust is the cause of many issues in the work environment. Although the bees have many different roles, they demonstrate and can teach us about trust. Bees build trust by taking care of each other and teaching each other. Simply stated, they have each other’s backs. As they develop and grow, they get promoted into bigger roles in their colony. If they run into an emergency, no matter their new role, they can always jump back in and help defend the hive. Bees also make sacrifices for the betterment of the hive. Worker bees die if they attack, as they use their stingers to protect. Drones die after they fertilize a queen. It’s important to trust your team and to make yourself vulnerable. Having trust as the foundation can make a strong, synergistic team.

#2: Don’t be like the drones! Work hard or buzz on out.

Drones have an important role to ensure the success of the bee population. However, most of their life, they just sit around and mooch off the hive while the worker bees are working hard. Drones do not clean the cells, they do not protect the hive, they do not make honey, they do not help with the temperature controls, they do not nurse the babies, and they do not go out and forage. They often stay in the hive, get in the way, and eat on the honey which should be stored up and saved to help the hive survive the winter. In the end, the worker bees kick the drones out once winter arrives.

Honeybees teach us to do our part and to work hard and diligently. Avoid being categorized as a drone and do your part! The Rock makes a good point: “Be humble, be hungry, and always be the hardest worker in the room”. Having that mindset sets you and your team to achieve great things.

#3: Communicate clearly, honey.

Bees communicate through movements and pheromones. In order for bees to let their “teammates” know where a good source of food is, they will do the waggle dance to share the location. If a worker bee uses its stinger, it sends out a smell that alerts the hive of an intruder, so then they all are aware. The queen sends out pheromones to communicate to the hive that she is alive and healthy. They know very quickly when she is not. Clear communication allows the hive to work as one strong operation. Without it, the bees would swarm. In the end, they all do their part to survive. At work, it’s important to communicate effectively and to create and reinforce clarity within your team. Doing this leads to happier team members and sets them up to work in a successful environment.

#4: Bee an advocate.

Bees will defend their hive and protect the queen at all costs. Not only do they secure the hive and have emergency plans in place, but they continue to train each other on the importance of survival. In the workforce, it is important to be an advocate for your company. We must defend against our competitors and continue to produce outstanding results to provide to our customers. Work hard, believe in the mission, live and breathe your company’s core values, and be proud of the company you protect and contribute great success to!

#5: Bee Mindful of the Mission

In the end, bees work hard to survive. Don’t we all? One of their main goals for survival is to produce honey and to continue storing it up to live on. Honey is not an easy product for bees to make. To make it, they swallow a full belly of nectar and then after a while, regurgitate it into a bee cell and control the temperature by flapping their wings to ensure it sets correctly. It’s a long process, however, honey has been around since ancient times and is still praised for its benefits and taste! To name a few benefits: helps relieve seasonal allergies, relieves coughs and colds, serves as an anti-bacterial agent, great for your skin, boosts your memory, provides nutrients to your body, boosts your metabolism, etc. The product is amazing!

We should learn from the bees. We want Daxko to be the ‘golden company’ throughout the health and wellness space, and we are well on our way! Like the bees, having a great, valuable product is important, but it is also important to love what you do and remember why you do it. Working with good people you trust, working hard and doing your part, having healthy communication among your team, and supporting and promoting your company help improve engagement. When you are engaged, you’re likely working in a healthy environment. When you’re working in a healthy environment, you’re likely to stay.

Not only do the bees help our environment, but they also teach us life lessons we can learn from and relate to. Save the bees and thank them for all they do! And if you want to learn more about beekeeping and have colonies of your own, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions.


Susan Walls is Daxko’s People Team Orchestrator who loves Jesus and her husband and daughters, enjoys karaoke and dancing, and likes picking out the perfect outfit for any occasion.

Soundtrack to My Daxko Travel Life

By | Culture, Healthy Stuff, Team Member Spotlight | No Comments

As a software trainer for Daxko, I travel a lot…and I mean a LOT. Before I started in this role, I’d been to eight states, and I’ve now been to 30. With a lot of travel comes the need for entertainment…how else can you face a long flight or drive from the airport?

Ever since I was young, my main source of entertainment has been music. I’m not easily pigeonholed into liking a certain genre – anyone who knows me can speak to the fact that I listen to almost everything. I’d like to share ten “must listens” that I always have on my travel playlists. These songs are some of my favorite in the world, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Artist: Josh Ritter

Song: Cumberland

Favorite Lyrics:

“So before you start talkin’ ’bout the wonders of the world again

The Taj Mahal, the Great Wall, the places that I never been

Take a little drive, take a little trip to Heaven and

Wonder for a while if it’s Paradise or Cumberland”

Josh Ritter is one of my all-time favorite artists, especially when it comes to live performances. He’s a total ball of joy when he’s on stage. This song reminds me of a Graceland era Paul Simon, and always makes me sing along.

 

Artist: Billy Joel

Song: We Didn’t Start the Fire

Favorite Lyrics:

“Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land

Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion”

This song is a total classic, and always reminds me of the “Ryan started the fire” episode of The Office. I learned all the lyrics to this song a few years ago, and can’t help myself from singing when it comes on. I chose my favorite lyrics because of the way Joel makes “dylANberLINbayofpigsinvasION” one big word. I sing it the exact way he does, and it makes me laugh every time.

 

Artist: The Beatles

Song: I Want to Hold Your Hand

Favorite Lyrics:

“Yeah, you got that somethin’

I think you’ll understand

When I say that somethin’

I want to hold your hand”

Come to our office and stop by my desk, or the favorites wall, and it will be pretty evident that The Beatles are my favorite band of all time (and you can reference this culture blog post for proof). This is one of those essential Beatles songs that I can’t help but love.

 

Artist: The Avett Brothers

Song: Ain’t No Man

Favorite Lyrics:

“There ain’t nobody here

Who can cause me pain or raise my fear ’cause I got only love to share

If you’re looking for truth I’m proof you’ll find it there”

The Avett Brothers are a long -time favorite band that I’ve seen perform more than once. The music video to this song is set in an airport/plane, which is pretty representative of my professional life, so you’ll often catch me listening to this as I’m speedily walking towards my gate.

 

Artist: Tears For Fears

Song: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Favorite Lyrics:

“I can’t stand this indecision

Married with a lack of vision

Everybody wants to rule the world”

I’m the daughter of a woman who grew up in the 80s and loves all 80s music, so I grew up knowing this song. It always reminds me of summertime and the bouncy beat puts me in a good mood, no matter what.

 

Artist: Joshua Radin

Song: Underwater

Favorite Lyrics:

“Everybody’s too loud, I can’t listen to myself.

I need somewhere I can go.

Underwater is where I’ll go.”

Joshua Radin is the first artist I remember really latching onto in my teens. I’ve seen him perform FIVE times, and I love him more each time. When the album this song is on came out, he explained to the crowd during his performance that when he was a kid, he had ear trouble that prevented him from going underwater. When he was an adult, he was finally able to do so, and wrote this song. This song reminds me of one of my favorite launches in Arizona. I took lots of videos and put them together, with this song playing over them. It still makes me a little teary!

 

Artist: My Morning Jacket

Song: Golden

Favorite Lyrics:

“And you always told me.

No matter how long it holds me

If it falls apart

Or makes us millionaires”

Maybe it’s the backing percussion that sounds like a train that makes this song such a “road trip” song for me, but you’ll find me listening to it no matter where I’ve traveled. I actually remember listening to this when I was at the Grand Canyon, so you can say it’s followed me everywhere.

 

Artist: Justin Townes Earle

Song: Wanderin’

Favorite Lyrics:

“Yes, oh lord, I’ve seen your oceans, I’ve seen your mountains high.

I’ve been lost inside your cities, I’ve seen the underside.

Yeah, I know the troubles that plague a troubled mind,

But they can’t catch me I’m a wanderin'”

I probably don’t have to explain this one, but man, I love Justin Townes Earle’s folksy sound. This song is more frequently played when I’m traveling somewhere down south, but it rings true wherever I am.

 

Artist: St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Song: All I Ever Wonder

Favorite Lyrics:

“I can’t tell what side I’m on

I can’t tell what’s right or wrong

We ain’t ever gonna sing one song”

You know I couldn’t leave out a hometown band. Enough said.

 

Artist: Cat Stevens

Song: Peace Train

Favorite Lyrics:

“Get your bags together,

Go bring your good friends, too

‘Cause it’s getting nearer,

It soon will be with you”

The first time I ever remember hearing this song was while watching Remember the Titans when I was a kid. My fiancé lived in Auburn, Alabama (about two hours from Birmingham) when we first started dating, and this song somehow ended up on the playlist I listened to when driving to visit him. Since then, it’s kind of been an “us” song, so it always reminds me of him when I’m traveling.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into music that I love. What are your favorite songs to listen to while traveling?


Deeanna is a Software Trainer, cat mom, and Tudor history buff who loves the outdoors.

60 Days In

By | Community, Culture, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers | No Comments

Do you know the elevation of your house?  Everyone in Houston now knows the exact elevation of their house. 103 – that’s mine. The other really important numbers are 104, and 101.5. 104 feet is the elevation above mean sea level of the top of Barker Reservoir levee, and I live just upstream of that levee, so my house is just a foot below the hypothetical high point of the floodwaters.

Why bring this up? Well, I had been at Daxko for about 2 weeks when our soggy friend Hurricane Harvey came to visit. So my third week at Daxko was spent at home, because the two entrances to my neighborhood were under water. Thankfully, my house stayed dry, because the water level in reservoir only got to 101.5 feet. A lot of people weren’t so lucky. But that whole week, Daxko people, including people from Birmingham, were on HipChat, exchanging crucial information, offering help, and checking in on one another. It was a great way to get to know the community of people who work here – well, great for a massive, catastrophic flood anyway.

Daxko people are engaged and helpful, and they look out for each other – that was my big observation at the 60 day mark.

We survived the flooding, and the massive, catastrophic traffic snarl that lasted another 2 weeks, and then we moved into the swanky new Daxko office, in the suburb of Sugar Land.  Locals will be sure to tell you it’s ‘Sugar Land,’ two words, not ‘Sugarland.’  It’s a great new office, in a nice, dry part of town. As a major plus, the building next door has a café that makes decent chocolate chip cookies.

Here are a couple of fun links:

  • Water Data – This shows the current water level and some other stats for the Barker reservoir. Many people in West Houston spent lots of time on this site in September, keeping an eye on the water level.
  • Cool article from the Houston Chronicle with some helpful graphics about the reservoirs.
  • Very cool aerial imagery from just after the flood. You can see the water in the streets in my neighborhood. You can even see the flooded blue car from the picture below, and boats moving through the flooded streets, rescuing people from flooded areas.

This picture is the main entrance to my neighborhood. And thankfully, that isn’t my car there in the 3+ feet of water. The water actually came up even higher after that pic. So be really careful about buying a used car in Houston for a while…


Clayton M. is an Instructional Designer who enjoys running and craft beer.

From the Pitch to the Pod

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko, Talent | No Comments

I’ve spent most of my life on a team. I lived and breathed competition as soon as I could. From a young age, I jumped into baseball, basketball, football, and in college I found an outlet in rugby. Over the years I’ve played every role imaginable on these teams. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience sports from a variety of roles within a team. I was never very good at football, so I played only small role. I was an average baseball player, so I played a moderate amount. I fell in love with rugby and put all my effort into it and now am fortunate enough to travel the country and play.

One of the most important things my experience in sports has taught me is that it takes every role performing to the best of their ability for the team to succeed. A good coach always reminds his players that no one individual can succeed without the team. The core concept is that you all rely on each other.

Sports have provided me with a number of life lessons, and my experience with them have been invaluable. You may stop playing sports, but you’ll be a part of teams for the rest of your life. Daxko picks up the team mentality and runs with it. When I accepted a role as Project Manager at Daxko, I jumped in to a team of people who immediately welcomed me in. When I say ‘team’ I don’t mean every employee at Daxko (although they certainly were all friendly); I specifically mean the Project Management team around me.

Daxko puts a lot of emphasis on what kind of player you are for your team. You’re in for a few personality tests when you first start out, including Marcus Buckingham’s StandOut assessment. Learning to identify your Strengths will help your Team Lead understand what you bring to your team and will inform how they use you as a player. You’ll never be curious as to what each of your teammates strengths are, because you’ll see these handy magnets throughout the office that identify everyone’s strengths.

As I’ve spent time learning the ins-and-outs of life at Daxko, it’s obvious that each member of our team plays a role that helps drive us forward. We have role players, contributors, superstars, captains, and coaches. Together we learn our strengths, what we can bring to the team, and how to contribute to our ultimate goal: Success. And yes, it’s cliché, but we all rely on one another to be successful.

Whether I’m on the rugby pitch or in the PM pod, I’m working with my team to be competitive and succeed. Working in a place where you’re surrounded by people who are invested in your satisfaction and your success is empowering. We’re all working toward the same goal, all aiming at the same objective. We want to be the most loved company in our industry. To do this, we leverage our entire team’s strengths to empower one another to be the best at what we do.


Zac R. is a Project Manager who loves naps, karaoke, and self-deprecating humor.