Gabriela Bratkovics has always had a love for Disney and honey bees. If you think they have nothing in common, you might be surprised. From education to business structure, Disney has quite a bit of buzz.
Gabriela Bratkovics Favorite Character
While Disney is most well known for creating Mickey Mouse, there have been several bee characters that have made their appearance over the years. These include Spike the Bee, also known as Buzz Buzz for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fans. Spike sometimes appears as a bumble bee, because he can sting more than once without dying. Other times, he’s shown as a honey bee making honey. Given Gabriela Bratkovics love for bees, Spike is one of her favorite Disney characters.
Disney Philosophy and Business Structure
Walt Disney once described his role in the company as that of a honey bee, saying “Sometimes I think of myself as a little bee. I go from one area of the studio to another and gather pollen and sort of stimulate everybody. I guess that’s the job I do.” The Disney Corporation also uses a hive like approach to management. Also known as the participatory approach. It allows ideas to flow both ways, and puts upper management in the center of things instead of the top.
The Honey Bee-stro
Gabriela Bratkovics loves that Disney World goes to great lengths to be “the happiest place on earth”, and she has always loved visiting. She is also a beekeeper, and is very passionate about raising awareness about bees and their impact on the environment. For the last three years, Disney has been working to raise awareness as well, by making bees and honey an integral part of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival with the Honey Bee-stro.
The Honey Bee-stro is sponsored by the National Honey Foundation. Menu options like honey tandoori chicken flatbread allow guests to experience honey in new ways. Guests can also find unique types of honey, including buckwheat and orange blossom.
For bee lovers like Gabriela Bratkovics, the sweetest part of the Honey Beestro is the education it provides to the public. Educational materials on display show how bees make honey, the steps it takes to get honey from bee to bottle, and how beekeepers work with bees to get honey. In true Disney fashion, the education is full of fun. There’s even a scavenger hunt. Guests can go on the hunt and search for Spike the bee, and discover what flower he is pollinating. Fun prizes are awarded for participating in the scavenger hunt.
Gabriela Bratkovics came from humble beginnings in Romania. She grew up with food rations. She came to America at 18, and sought a college education. She did well, but never forgot her roots and childhood struggles. She now cares for her bees, and takes pride in knowing that bees also aid in agriculture.