Buzzing & Fun – Bee Tattoo Ideas

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Bee tattoo designs have been a staple in many tattoo shops  and in portfolios of many artists around the world.

The reason for that is simple – bees have existed on every continent on our planet (well, almost – except Antarctica), which made them common occurances in the mythology and folklore of many cultures.

The symbolism of bee tattoos can be traced back to bee symbolism in art and culture –

  • hard work,
  • power,
  • feminine energy (making it perfect for a women’s tattoo)
  • communication with the divine,
  • as well as the relationship of the individual and the collective

They are similar to spiders here, another ancient insect.

These small pollinators are truly fascinating insects, that are essential to the survival of the human race.

Animal tattoos are a common choice to tell a big story in only one symbol.

So, if you’re looking to learn more about bee tattoos and what they mean, scroll down below to learn more!

Every Tattoo Has A Story – Bee Tattoo Meaning

The most universal meaning related to bees is that they are known as industrious and social insects.

In a hive, bees need to cooperate to maintain it, with a strict organizational structure that gives each bee a clear role.

With such dedication to collective consciousness, it makes honey bees powerful symbols for collaboration and hard work.

Besides pollinating, another product of all the bees’ hard work is honey, sweet golden-colored liquid that has been used to sweeten drinks and food for millennia.

This then plays into their interpretations of bringing new life or beginning of new creative enterprise, similarly to butterflies.

Furthermore, bees’ ability to make honey also means they are associated with productivity and wealth.

And as flying insects, they can represent the freedom to rise above any situation.

Bees represent:

  • creativity,
  • resourcefulness,
  • teamwork,
  • collective consciousness,
  • communication,
  • hard work,
  • industry
  • manifestation,
  • and the sacred feminine.

Some even refer to them as nature’s alchemists, architects, and matriarchs.

Another way of looking at their honey-production symbolism is that bees relate to divine love and creation, showing us that everything in life fits into a greater plan, purpose, and place.

We’ll go into great details about queen of bees below, but in a bee hive femininity rules and all day-to-day operations are governed by a feminine force.

Additionally, some bees are prone to also stinging if we come too near to them, just like hummingbirds. That said they also symbolize respecting of boundaries and demanding respect from others.

Queen Bee Symbolism

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.

The queen bee represents leading with feminine energy and subsequently with intuition, the subconscious, emotions, imagination, birth, and nourishment. This is why sometimes Queen bee is used for a tattoo dedicated to their mother.

Bees can have as many as 60,000 workers and several hundred drones in a single hive, but only one queen bee.  The drones serve the purpose of mating with the queen, so that she can give birth to more worker bees.

All the activity in the hive, of course, revolves around the queen since she is responsible for taking care of the hive.

Honey Bee Symbolism

For many, bees are considered the connectors between the spiritual and material worlds.

And it’s no wonder – these pollinating insects are the true alchemists that turn life force energy into matter (all their hard work into honey).

That way, they represent how we can turn our passions into reality and physical manifestation.

Honey bees blend intuitive knowledge with inspired action, which is true nature’s inspiration.

In tattoos, many times we can see honey bees and a hive, followed by a bear, where we add the symbolism of strength and family loyalty.

When it comes to how honey bees work together, the way that hives are organized is divine in nature, using the power of interconnectedness, instinctual knowledge, and sacred geometry.

In Ancient Egypt, tears of the Sun God Ra turned into bees upon touching the ground.

In Ancient Greece, honey bees were a cult symbol for Artemis, the virgin huntress and goddess of wild nature.

In Christian allegory, Honeybee often represented the Virgin Mary, also known as “Queen of the Bees” in Catholicism.

One of the most diverse pantheons of bee and honey symbolism is in India. The Rig-Veda compiled between around 2000 BC contains many mentions of bees and honey.

The Sanskrit word for honey is madhu, which is etymologically identical to the Greek methu and the Anglo-Saxon medu, or mead.

Bumble bees are the bigger, black insects from the family of bees.

Unlike their cousins the honey bees, that create enough honey for harvesting, bumble bees create only a little bit that they use themselves.

This is not to say that these little pollinators are lazy or unproductive.

Bumble bees are responsible for a large percent of the flora pollination in the world and are an immense asset.

These super-hard-workers are buzzing around tirelessly and non-stop until they die.

When trying to understand their spiritual message, we definitely have to take into account their spiritual association to productivity and perseverance.

One more interesting fact about bumble bees is that are in fact too big for their wings.

That means that they are indeed able to fly against all odds that are stacked against them.

Ancient spiritual stories also speak about how this phenomenon conveys the miracles of the world

But, the most common and important quality that a bumble bee can teach us is, in fact, stillness.

Being so big in their world, bumble bees are slow and calculated in their movements. It’s a sign to slow down and not get ahead of yourself all the time.

So, bumble bees can help a person focus and maintain stronger attention.

These effective pollinators are hyper-focused when they are working (which is always).

When one is focused then nothing ever has to be redone and there’s never too much to do.

Best Bee Tattoo Placements

Most common among the bee tattoos is the small bee tattoo that can be easily fit either on small places (like wrist), or somewhere in between existing tattoos.

For a cute bee tattoo you can go with any tattoo placement, but given its usual circular shape, placements such as inner forearm, outer forearm, shoulder, back shoulder, and calf are perfect for even bigger bee tattoo designs.

Very popular is the bee finger tattoo, in a very minimalist form.

Another common option is the bee hand tattoo, especially because of its rounded shape.

If it’s mixed with other elements, such as birth flowers, sunflowers, or roses, it can be a part of a bigger design, such as a tattoo sleeve filler.

One bee tattoo that got the placement behind the ear popularized is the Ariana Grande bee tattoo, that she got in remembrance of her fallen fans in the Manchester city shooting that happened at her concert.

Bee Tattoo Ideas

To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best bee tattoo ideas.

Take a look below to check them out all:

Are you looking for a custom bee tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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