Today I saw a honey bee feasting on an early blooming dandelion in the back garden. It reminded me of something I read some time back. The bee was the emblem of ancient Lower Egypt and was considered the symbol of the giver of life; birth, death and resurrection. They said that the tears of the Sun god Ra became the first worker bees.
The folklore of many cultures credits this wee creature with many magical properties. “Busy as a bee”? That phrase seems to have come from the fact that bees work all day long, doing the same tasks over and over again. The ones who go out to gather nectar may fly as many as ten miles a day, and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make a pound of honey.
Some cultures associate the bees with purity because the workers who produce the honey never mate.
There is a very strong spiritual bond between bees and beekeepers. If the beekeeper has died, the bees should be told about it right away or they will leave the hive. The widow or eldest son should traditionally be the one to tell them. She or he would strike the hive three times with the door key, saying ‘The Master (or Mistress) is dead! Mourn with us.”.
A quick internet search showed me even more interesting superstitions about bees.
When a bee flies into the house it’s a sign of a visitor, or good fortune. However, the bee must be allowed to stay or fly out again of its own volition. If you kill it, you risk bringing bad luck. You’ll also find that the visitor will be rather unpleasant.
If you plan to move the bees to a different place, they have to be informed first.
If they suddenly swarm on a tree or a bush, there’ll be a death nearby.
If a bee lands on your hand, don’t panic. It means you’ll come into some money. If he lands on your head that means you’ll rise to greatness.
To swear in the presence of a bee invites a sting. They will also attack an adulterer or unchaste person.
These are all fun bits of trivia, but it’s very important to remember how the bees help to keep our environment working by pollinating plants. Our food supply is dependent on the bees’ work. Without them a huge percentage of our food would simply disappear from the earth.
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