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Bee Symbolism & Spiritual Meanings Of Seeing Bees

Photo: irin-k / Shutterstock, Unsplash & Pexels
bee symbolism

While seeing a bee may fill some with fright, they are vital to our ecosystem. Bees are special because they are sole pollinators every spring; in fact, the majority of the food we eat depends on bees to pollinate.

Without bees, we would lose most of our food supply, which is why they are very much needed on the planet.

Many people will shrug off seeing a bee as a normal occurrence, especially in spring or summer, but the season isn’t the only reason you’re seeing bees all around you.

Pay attention to bee symbolism when you encounter them in the waking world, or dream about them at night.

Bee Symbolism & Spiritual Meanings Of Bees

Bees are symbols of hard work, prosperity, commitment, focus, kindness, and even fertility.

It should be no surprise that bees symbolize hard work, as these creatures are constantly on the go, serving their queen bee and pollinating flowers. Worker bees can visit and pollinate up to 1,500 flowers a day!

Bees are also associated with teamwork. Every bee in a hive has a role. For the hive to function smoothly, everyone must do their part, just like in real life.

Much like any organization or team, beehives have a division of powers. Within the beehive hierarchy, the queen bee is on top, the drone bees follow, and the worker bee is at the bottom.

Queen bees are the largest in the hive because their sole purpose is to mate and reproduce. They seldomly leave the hive and don’t even feed themselves. The queen bee is taken care of by the bees in the hive, playing into bees representing fertility, commitment and focus.

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Bee Encounters and Omens

When a bee buzzes near you, it may be scary, especially if you are allergic to them and worried about getting a bee sting, seeing one can hold an important message.

Bees aren't bad omens; in fact, encountering one should make you stop and think about your personal goals and quality of life. It's a reminder to ponder if you are staying focused on your growth in all areas of life, pushing to achieve your goals, and keeping a work-life balance.

What Different Bees Symbolize

Though there are over 16 different bee species in the world, many are recognizable based on their appearance alone. The most widely known bees include honey bees, wasps, bumble bees, and carpenter bees.

But let's take a look at the spiritual meanings for certain types of bees.

Queen Bee Meaning

Queen bees are symbols of femininity and intuition. While you most likely won't see a queen bee in the wild, just her symbol is a sign that you need to get your emotions under control. Trust your feminine intuition to guide you.

Bumble Bee Meaning

Bumble bees are gentle creatures who work hard. Seeing one is a symbol of staying humble, graceful, compassionate, focused, and devoted to your goals.

Honey Bee Meaning

Honey bees are known to pollinate 80% of all flowering plants! They are symbols of fertility, community, intuition, manifestation, and interconnectedness. Druids even saw honey bees as symbols of the sun.

Carpenter Bee Meaning

Carpenter bees are more solitary creatures, building homes from carving wood. Because of this, they are symbols of domestic life, hard work, passion, and the earth.

Wasp Meaning

Wasps aren't technically bees and don't pollinate; rather, they are parasitoidal creatures, meaning they lay eggs in another insect. Wasps are symbols of intuition, transformation, dishonesty, and psychic abilities.

Yellow Jacket Meaning

While yellowjackets are a type of wasp, seeing one or having an experience involving one symbolizes dominance, breaking through boundaries, friction in relationships, and separation.

Hornet Meaning

Hornets are another type of wasp that aren't actually bees, and are known to sting repeatedly. They represent aggressiveness in your life, feeling threatened by that aggressive energy, and the need to find balance in your psychic energies.

Bee Symbolism in Dreams

Dreaming of being stung by a bee

Just like the reaction you have to a bee sting in the waking world, when you dream of bees stinging you, it means your negative thinking or actions are coming back to "bite" you. Being stung by a bee in a dream can also mean that someone in your close-knit circle is talking poorly about you.

Dreaming of a resting bee

Dreaming of a sitting or resting bee is a sign that it might just be time to slow down and prioritize one thing. Just like a queen bee’s fertility is the most important thing to her, find the time to invest everything into what you have your sights set on.

Dreaming of a flying bee

If you have dreamed of flying bees, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and start taking the steps to make your dream come true. You have to set a goal and remain consistent, just like worker bees, because anything you set your mind to you can achieve.

Dreaming of a bee landing on you

Dreaming of bees or one bee landing on you means you need to start becoming comfortable working in a team. One bee can’t run the hive on its own, and neither can you, so accept a helping hand.

Dreaming of being in a beehive

Dreaming about being in a beehive is telling you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. When all that hard work is paying off, don’t be afraid to reap some of the benefits.

Dreaming of being attacked by bees

While this is most likely not a pleasant dream, being attacked by a swarm of bees represents feeling overwhelmed, rejected, or worried about a close friend or family member's health.

Dreaming of killing a bee

To dream of killing a bee represents a fear of commitment, the need to stop any new relationships from forming, and feeling overwhelmed in social situations. Killing many bees in a dream means you're rejecting a hive mind of thinking and choosing your own thoughts.

Bee Spirit or Totem Animal

Spirit animals are spirit guides that keep us focused on our path and teach us many lessons as well; totem animals are spirit guides too, but we call upon them when we need guidance. Both spirit animals and totem animals protect, guard, and help us find our higher purpose.

You can't choose your spirit animal; however, you'll know if you have a bee as a spirit animal if you've had a life-changing experience with this creature, or resonate with them in some way.

A bee spirit animal symbolizes hard work and strong work ethic. As an animal spirit guide, a bee also conveys the importance of stopping to smell the roses every now and again, creating a balance in life.

Those with a bee spirit animal are intuitive, tend to have telepathic abilities, and have strong community values.

If you have a bee totem animal, you can do whatever you set your mind to as long as you stay devoted to your task and remain positive. You can invoke this totem and call upon it for survival skills and powers.

Photo: irin-k / Shutterstock, Unsplash & Pexels

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Spiritual Meaning of Bees in Christianity and the Bible

Bees appear many times in the Bible and are a symbol of Jesus Christ's attributes. Honey is a symbol of Christ's sweet and gentle nature, while the sting of a bee refers to justice and the cross.

In Judges 14:8, the story of Samson tells of Samson being attacked by a lion, but the Holy Spirit gives him the strength to defeat the creature. When he turns the body of the lion over, he sees honey and a swarm of bees. Samson then eats the honey and brings some home to his family.

This tale symbolizes how powerful God is, and the spread of His word.

Other references to bees in the Bible include Deuteronomy 1:44, Psalm 118:12, and Isaiah 7:18. And in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the columns in the Altar of Confession depict honey bees and flowers.

Spiritual Meaning of Bees in Hinduism

In Hindu mythology, honey is considered a sacred symbol of the gods Krishna, Vishnu, and Indra, who are called the Mādhava, a word derived from the Sanskrit word for honey, madhu. Krishnu is shown with a blue bee on his forehead.

A myth from Hinduism tells of Arunasura, a demon, who brought terror to heaven and earth. Goddess Parvati turned into Bhramari, the goddess of bees and hornets. Using her stingers, she rid the world and godly realm of Arunasura

Spiritual Meaning of Bees in Buddhism

On the day of the full moon in August or September, Buddhists hold the Honey Full Moon Festival, called Madhu Purnima.

The festival celebrates Buddha retreating into the forest, and being fed by a monkey and elephant; the monkey brought honeycomb and the elephant brought fruit.

When Buddha received his gift from the monkey, the monkey was so elated by this that he swung from tree to tree, falling to his death; however, because of his generosity, Buddha made him be reborn in Tavatimsa, or heaven.

As Buddha left the forest, the elephant went to follow him, to which Buddha told him that he could not leave his territory. As soon as Buddha was out of sight, the elephant died from a broken heart.

Bee Symbolism in Mythology and Folklore

Native American Bee Symbolism

Bees appear frequently in Native American folklore. When bees appear, they come as a spirit guide, cautioning people to not disrespect nature.

In addition, the bee represented that even the smallest warriors are the strongest, and the price of greed. Honey bees are associated with fertility and bring good luck to couples that are trying to conceive. They are a symbol of maternal love given from the god of love and of a time of joy.

One Cherokee legend told of how the bee received its stinger. The People asked the Creator for something sweet to eat, so the Creator sent them bees, who didn't have stingers. The bees shared their honey with the People, who then asked for so much that the honey was gone.

When there was no honey, the bees told the People they would have to wait, so the People went to the Creator, who sent Flower People to create flowers for the bees, leading them to produce honey.

Despite this, the bees couldn't keep up with the People's demands for more, and the Creator gave the bees stingers to protect themselves.

Celtic Bee Symbolism

In Celtic folklore, bees were considered spiritual creatures who could fly between the world of the living and the world of the gods, acting as messengers.

Celts were respectful of bees and considered them like family. They also believed that a bee entering your home was a sign of good luck and fortune.

Chinese Bee Symbolism

In China, bees are symbols of hard work and success, but bees are also linked to otherworldly powers and were said to be messengers between the worlds.

The Chinese were known to mix honey with opium, and when Chinese beekeepers destroyed hives, they smeared a basket with mud, placed it on a piece of wood and placed it on the side of their home. The Chinese also captured swarms of bees in their hats, which were smeared with honey.

In Chinese folklore, some hives were turned around after their owner died. They also considered swarms of bees to be good luck.

Ancient Greek Bee Symbolism

Just like the Celts, the Ancient Greeks believed bees were messengers between the physical and metaphysical world. Honey was considered sacred and a "nectar of the gods," as the saying goes.

There are also multiple myths the Greeks had that related to bees.

One myth told of Aristaeus, the god of beekeeping. After falling in love with Eurydice, he chased her, and as she ran, she stepped on a viper, dying instantly. Eurydice's sisters punished Aristaeus by killing his bees.

After his loss, Aristaeus went to Proteus, the sea god, who advised him to sacrifice cattle. When he did so, bees flew out of the carcasses and into the beehives.

Another myth told of Zeus and Melissa. After Zeus was born, to protect him from Cronos, who ate his young, Zeus' mother Rhea hid him in a cave, with the nymph Melissa looking after him. Zeus was fed goat's milk and honey, becoming strong as he grew.

After learning of this, Cronos turned Melissa into an earthworm, but Zeus instead turned Melissa into a bee and gave her golden stripes.

Ancient Egyptian Bee Symbolism

In Ancient Egyptian culture, the bee symbolized a stable and obedient society. In this society, beekeeping was practiced and supported the agricultural, medicinal, nutritional, and ritualistic practices.

In mythology, Egyptians believed bees came to be after the sun god Ra cried, and his tears touched desert sand. Bees were also thought to be guides who helped souls find the afterlife.

African Bee Symbolism

In a legend from the San People, when a praying mantis came upon a river that was too rough to cross, a bee came to his aid and offered to carry him across. After a day passed, the bee became tired and landed on a flower floating in the river, which eventually floated to the other side.

The mantis was grateful, but the bee died from exhaustion. As the sun came up, the bee had transformed into a human; thus, how the first human was born.

Bee Tattoo Meaning

People who get bee tattoos may appreciate this insect for their dedication to their colony, just like the person with the tattoo shows that same drive in their own life. A bee tattoo can also symbolize a person's respect for nature and their mission to save the bees.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who has written hundreds of articles about relationships, trending news and entertainment, and astrology. Follow her on Twitter for more.

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