What happened when I was scared of my bees…

If you have been reading my blogs for a little while you’ll know that I am a bee keeper.  I have a couple of hives at home at the bottom of the garden.

Before I started keeping bees Sally and I went on a course to learn about how to look after them including dismantling the hive, swarm control and how to extract honey.

Me and My Wife (Sally) Bee Keeping

Me and My Wife (Sally) Bee Keeping

At the beginning I was very relaxed around the bees and even though I got stung a few times it didn’t put me off.

But then, one day…

I got a reaction to a sting.

I was stung on the forehead and it hurt!  It hurt a lot!


And when I woke up the next morning I could hardly open my eye and the whole left side of may face had swollen up.

It wasn’t a pretty sight!

However, after I did a bit of research on the internet and discussing the situation with other bee keepers, I discovered it wasn’t an unusual thing to have the odd reaction to a bee sting.

That was two years ago.

Between then and the end of last year I’d been stung numerous times, lost some swarms (not good) and totally lost my confidence when working with the bees.

I’d lost my confidence to the point where I was scared (proper frightened!) of opening the hives.

And this was not doing the bees any good.

So I delved in to my knowledge and started coaching myself.

FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real…

Fear is only an emotion…

What are my beliefs about the bees?

Etc etc.

But none of it worked.

So I chose to run…

I chose to sell the bees!

I asked the local bee keeping association for the name of someone who might help me sell the bees to someone who would look after them. I didn’t get the response I expected…

I was challenged (sometimes I know you have to take your own advice) by a fellow bee keeper, Jill.

Jill started asking me some really basic questions about how I was handling the bees.

You know the stuff that fills page 1 in bee keeping for dummies.

And I had realisation after realisation…

I’d started cutting corners.

I thought I knew it all and  “was making my life easier”

Jill didn’t like that and gave me several pieces of advice and very supportively suggested I “get back on the horse and have another go”.

You can imagine what happened.  It was a whole different experience.  It was as enjoyable as it was the first time I worked with the bees.  In fact, two and a half hours passed by in a flash.

So this week’s questions are really simple, can be profound if you choose them to be, but most importantly are potentially as challenging as Jill’s!

Ask yourself…

Where in your business have you made things so complicated that you (or you team) always seem to be getting things wrong?

How could you make those things simple again so you always get them right?

Where in your business are you (or you team) cutting corners (and not following systems) in order to save time because you think you know best?

What are you currently afraid of, that a little bit of advice or support from the right person will transform your experience?


What successful things did you do when you first started your business that you’ve stopped doing now, that you could start doing again?

As always, if you need our support we are here to help you.  Just let us know how we can.

If you take action after reading and digesting any of those questions I’d love to hear about it.

And  if you are a fellow bee keeper let me know.  I’d love to get some more advice!

Let’s Get Started….

Pull Your Socks Up….


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Simon has been inspiring, challenging and supporting business owners and their teams to be the best they can be since 1997. In the first three years he owned GreenStones, he quadrupled its profits, tripled its turnover and doubled the number of team members. And if that is not enough he has also ran the London Marathon, cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats (raising over £20K for Arthritis Research) and qualified as a hypnotherapist. Simon now spends his time helping business owners use the Bravest Business Model to help them focus on the most important functions of their business. After they have been working with him for a while they start to earn the money they deserve, they get more time with their family doing the things they want to do and they make their mum proud!

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6 Responses to What happened when I was scared of my bees…

  1. Graeme Hall May 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    ‘Back to basics’ and ‘Keep it simple’.. It takes some beating!

    Thanks for a great blog Simon – and great questions as ever.


    • Simon Chaplin May 16, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      Thanks Graeme. Keep it simple seems to be a message I am getting a lot at the moment.

  2. Christopher John Payne May 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    This is a terrific story. Thank you for posting it! 🙂

    It’s fascinating that you were having challenges with your bees, and you were ready to give up, until Jill showed you that you were making several elementary mistakes that you learned in your first beekeeping course.

    This must mean that I’m making similar elementary mistakes myself in my own business, and personal life: mistakes that are right under my nose, yet I’m not seeing them.

    I’ll certainly take some time to answer the questions you pose at the end of your blog. I’m sure I’ll get some great insights! 🙂

    • Simon Chaplin May 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Chris

      Thanks for your kind words. I am pleased you have found it useful.

  3. Mark Salmon May 22, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Bees gave me one of my earliest lessons when, as a child, I attempted to pick up a bee with my fingers. The lesson = actions have consequences!

    • Simon Chaplin May 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      Thanks for the additional take on this story Mark

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