Be the queen bee - a thought for caregivers and anyone else who wants a happier life

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

I am fascinated by bees and find it relaxing to watch them going about their business collecting the pollen and nectar that lavender has.

Of course, you won’t find the queen bee out foraging – these are the worker bees. They gather the nectar while the queen bee stays in the hive, being shielded and cossetted.

The queen bee is essential to the lasting welfare of the hive because she is the one who lays the eggs which continue its existence. So, the rest of hive look after her, protecting her above all others and making sure she’s fed an exclusive diet of royal jelly.

This can be seen throughout nature and in human relationships of all sorts - the various parties involved look out for each in different ways.

Who’s your queen bee? Human society and our “hives” are different from the social structure of a beehive, so that we are probably a cross between the queen bee (a key part in the lasting welfare of the hive) and worker bee (protecting and looking after others).

If you’re caring for or supporting someone then you are at least partly responsible for their well-being. Many adults have some share in the welfare of others in some capacity, whether that’s a work or personal setting. Whose welfare do you play a part in? Who do you nurture or protect in some way? Is there someone you look after, protect and support, possibly above all? They are your queen bee(s). It might be in a different way from the way worker bees protect an actual queen bee, but the principle is the same.

Back up plans Nature has a back-up plan so that when a queen bee is no longer able to produce eggs to maintain the hive she is replaced by another queen bee. What is your backup plan?

Hopefully it’s not as extreme as being replaced, but what happens if you are so busy looking after others that you neglect yourself and burn out and can no longer provide the level of care or support that you’d want to give? What are the consequences for you and for others?

So how about being your own queen bee? The very fact that you look after other is the reason which it’s important for you to be looked after, be protected, be put first, be fed royal jelly. Ok, maybe not actual royal jelly, but the food that is delicious and nutritious to you. And who better to do it than you? You can be your own queen bee, and put your needs first – not selfishly, but to be able to keep looking after others. What’s the first thing you will do as queen beeee?

When my in-laws started to need care, I knew how to look after both them and myself – because I’d got it so wrong in the past, when my other half was signed off work with stress and my life was turned upside down too. These blog posts are mostly based on the things that helped me, the lessons I learnt the hard way and what I realise with the benefit of hindsight would have helped. I’ve collected some of the other key learning points and tips and made these available to download at

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