When a colleague and I were both new at another institution, we found ourselves in the position of making a lot of changes.  Some of these were not popular with the staff or students, and we had the suspicion that we were being called a certain name behind our backs. The name started with the letter B.

As a symbol of solidarity, one of us gave the other something in the shape of a bee.  Then there was another exchange.  And another.  And another.  Now more than a decade has passed and I still think of her every time I see items with a bee — and let me tell you, there are A LOT of them.  We have exchanged slippers, dishwashing sponges, sandwich bread cutters, jewelry, wind chimes, sunglasses and numerous toys.  Once you start paying attention to “bee items”, you will be amazed at how pervasive the image is.

We continued the bee exchange for years after the initial rumble was long forgotten.  We ended up being well liked by most and the nickname faded, but the camaraderie that it engendered did not.

Do you know someone who could use a little extra strength to pursue an unpopular but necessary course of action?  Perhaps a little bee could buzz into their lives and give them the fortitude they need to stick with it, even if it stings for awhile.

— beth triplett

Happy B-day Kim!

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