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Bee balanced: The importance of a good and balanced company culture

Mariëtte Cutler ( is a Sr. Global Compliance Auditor for AbbVie in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

The viewpoints in this article are my own personal opinions and are not intended to reflect those of my employer, AbbVie.

It was a sunny late-spring day in Illinois, perfect for a morning cup of coffee on the deck. The sun was already warming the air, even though it was only nine in the morning. Taking full advantage, the mason bees were hard at work visiting the sage flowers to start building their nests. A hummingbird flitted about inspecting the spring blooms before settling for the sugar water feeder. It would have to wait for the summer season before flowers became a better source of nectar. All of a sudden, a dark, menacing insect buzzed onto the scene. It was a hornet. The hummingbird swiftly darted away, afraid of the newcomer’s painful and potentially deadly sting. However, one of the mason bees noticed the danger flying near the sage flowers and did not back down. Despite the interloper’s superior sting, the bee flew straight at the hornet and body checked it at full speed. The hornet was hurled back, and after hovering for a brief second, it retreated. In the face of such determination, the hornet was forced to fly far away from the bee’s beautiful sage flowers. This one bee’s bravery and determination protected the sage flowers from a threat that could have decimated the other bees if it had gotten in among them. Our little hero bee then went right back to its busy work providing for the nest. It was just an ordinary bee after all.

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