In ancient mythology across many cultures, the honey bee was believed to be a sacred insect, a universal symbol of ethical virtues, such as diligence, sociability, purity, cleanliness, wisdom and creativity.
The cultural importance of honey is based largely on its sweet flavour. For many of the world’s early civilizations, while honey was a major sweetness source and used to flavour drinks and food, its sweetness also had a cultural symbolic connotation associated with divinity, richness and plenty. Honey’s association with the divine also made it a symbol of immortality. One of the reasons behind this particular symbolism and not immediately obvious – is that honey is a natural preservative and possesses strong antiseptic qualities.
Here are a few places and cultures whose myths and tales feature bees and bee-related gods:
African mythology: The first human grew from a seed planted by a bee inside of a mantis.
Egyptian mythology: It was believed that when the tears of the sun god Ra landed on the desert sand, bees grew from them.
Mayan mythology: Ah-Muzen-Cab is one of the Maya gods of bees and honey, also one of the Maya Hero Twins, Xbalanque, is also associated with bees and beekeeping.
Asian mythology: In ancient Near East and Aegean cultures, the bee was believed to be the sacred insect that bridged the natural world to the underworld.
Greek mythology: There are several gods who are associated with bees. Aristaeus for example is the god of beekeeping.
Folklore across Britain: Telling the bees of important events in the family (particularly births and deaths) was vital to keep the bees content and happy in their hive.
Well, this was only a taste to show you how bees appear all over the place in folklore and mythology. Make sure to look deeper into their stories if it peaks your antennae!
Gold plaques embossed with winged bee goddesses – Camirus, Rhodes.
Symbolism of bees honey – https://www.utmt.in/blogs/the-hive-blog/symbolism-of-bees-honey
Bee Mythology – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee_(mythology)
Bees in Mythology – https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/bees-in-mythology.html