Whether worn as earrings, necklaces or rings, the bee is the perfect combination of sentiments to wear and give. Found in every continent except for Antarctica, bees are often thought to symbolize community, friendship and selflessness, as well as brightness, joy, beauty and celebration, but what is it about bees that makes them so bee-loved? Let’s delve a little deeper and learn more about the humble bee.
What Does the Symbol of the Bee Mean?
The symbol of the bee has been used by many cultures- the Mayans believed the bee to be a symbol of the goddess: bringers of life and abundance. Similarly, the Druids considered the bee to represent fertility, personal power and community. To the ancient Greeks, bees were symbolic of prosperity and celebration, and in ancient Judaism the bee was associated with a successful and peaceful society, with individuals working selflessly and in harmony as integral parts of their community.
The Priestesses who worshipped the Goddess Artemis were called Bees, and many of our names today come from Bees, including Melissa, Alyssa, Beatrice, Deborah and Lisa to name a few. In Ancient Egypt, the bee, particularly the honeybee, was a symbol of royalty, and they believed bees were born from the tears of the Sun God, Ra, and represented the Pharaoh’s sovereignty over their subjects (the hive).
Bees were often perceived as magical as they collect pollen from flowers and transform it into honey. Honey’s healing powers are widely acknowledged; in some Celtic cultures, honey-wine was thought to be the drink of immortality. When combined with the symbol of the bee, this could be conceived as everlasting love. A smooth talker is said to have ‘lips anointed with honey’ this is where the word ‘honey’ as a term of endearment is derived from. It can also be interpreted to mean a person gifted with eloquence or the ability to “sweet-talk”.
Fun Facts About Bees
There are over 20,000 bee species worldwide, including the honey bee, which originated in Eurasia and has been imported around the globe as a domesticated species. In North America there are approximately 4,000 native bee species occupying ecosystems from forests to deserts to grasslands. Bees feed exclusively on sugary nectar and protein-rich pollen from flowering plants. Bees are vitally important to our environment, as they forage, bees perform the critical act of pollination.
Bees pollinate a staggering 80% of all flowering plants, including approximately 75% of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States, including crops such as cotton and food for livestock. Female worker bees will visit up to 100 flowers during a single trip, fly at up to 15 miles per hour and travel a distance of around 6 miles. Bees live in a precision run hive where each bee has a job to do, they work together for the good of the hive and for the queen bee, which is why they symbolize community and productivity.
Unlike the hive-forming domesticated honey bee or wild bumble bee species, most bees are solitary nesters, they don’t form hives, create honey, or live a communal lifestyle. Queen bumble bees can live for a year and workers for a month. Solitary bees also live for about a year, with the majority of that time spent developing in their nesting chamber. Their adult lives, during which they are active, lasts approximately three to eight weeks, although females tend to live a bit longer.
Giving a piece of jewelry with a special meaning such as a symbol of hope and strength can make a powerful and thoughtful gift for a friend or loved one. Whether you’re looking for a honey or bumble bee, or something custom, we can help you find the perfect gift. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment.