Bees have amazing symbolic history--both in waking and in dream life. Dating as far back as 5 B.C. cultures have used the bee to symbolize everything from industry and productivity to the Goddess as the Great Mother archetype. Ancient Egyptians thought the bee a symbol of wisdom, regeneration, and obedience.
Bees also became symbolic of royalty. Many of the long-haired Merovingian monarchs were buried with gold bees placed in their tombs. Napoleon's robes were known for their embroidered bees because Napoleon saw the bee as symbolic of immortality and resurrection.
Today, Freemasons use the bee and the beehive as one of its symbols denoting industry. Additionally, we use the bee to illustrate human characteristics such as "busy as a bee" or "queen bee." We also use the bee to denote certain activities such as the spelling bee or a quilting bee.
It is obvious that bees have a firm place in our collective unconscious so they are not an unusual dream symbol. In fact, it is not only the bee which may turn up in dreams but those things associated with them such as the beehive, honey, or the honey comb. Below are some ideas about what these symbols may mean.
Honey is a natural sweetener, the product of the bees' industry. Honey originated in pollen which bees collect and bring back to their hive. Dreaming of honey can therefore be a symbol of transformation or of some form of alchemy--taking something--a relationship, a project, a career goal, or even a dream and revolutionizing it until is becomes something more satisfying than it currently is. Honey may also symbolize a reward for work performed or it may be a play on words for feeling as if you are 'living the sweet life'.
If you dream of being stung, it could represent stinging feelings in waking life or in your unconscious. You may feel as though something--a relationship or, since the bee is oftentimes symbolic of industry, a work situation has left you feeling 'stung'. Sometimes people dream of bees stinging them on the hand. This could represent an act (hands being symbolic of action) that might end in hurt feelings.
While a bee sting may be painful, the bee has a lot more to complain about as it dies when it stings. In this capacity, the bee might represent sacrificing yourself for something you hold dear and treasure.
As we have seen, the bee often represents work and industry. Bees are in fact, very busy little creatures. Dreaming of bees working may symbolize productivity and getting things accomplished. However, you should check the dream and your life carefully because this symbol might also represent an inability to remain calm, or may indicate a need for rest from working so much.
Bees are also symbols of communication. The saying 'tell it to the bees' meant using bees to transmit wishes and desires out to God/dess. Bees work in complete cooperation, communicating with each other so that their hive remains intact and productive. Bees in a dream may indicate a need for communication either with a group or with a significant other.
Until next time, sleep well and dream out loud!
*~Aisling Ireland~* is an ordained Interfaith Minister, available for weddings and commitment ceremonies and a Spiritual Counselor providing dream interpretation and Tarot readings. To make an appointment check out her website at: Sang-Realta Spiritual Counseling