A dream about bees is never straightforward

Bees are hierarchical. They sting. They make honey. You can see how a dream about bees might take you in any number of interpretive directions.

The meaning of a bee dream is never straightforward. If you’ve been stung by a bee in the past, for example, the dream could signify a fear, or a lingering annoyance or pain that hasn’t been properly dealt with.

Unlike wasps, when a bee stings, it loses its life. So this dream could also indicate a past sacrifice or one that will soon need to be made.

Stinger from a dead honey bee
A honey bee stinger. (© Steve @ the alligator farm | Creative Commons)

These are just two of many possibilities, but please keep in mind that your dreams are tailored for you—your personal experience, your state of mind and the meanings that you subconsciously associate with each symbol.

I’ll give some guidance, but as always, you are your own best interpreter.

Bee symbolism

Bees have come to symbolize three things above all others:

  1. Industry: You’ve heard of busy bees? Bees are tireless workers, and represent hard work.
  2. Hierarchy: Bee society is a tiered society. Every bee knows its place. Most exist to serve the leader.
  3. Fertility: As pollinators of plants, bees play an important role in the perpetuation of plant life.

These core symbolic meanings are always a good place to start when trying to interpret a bee dream.

Types of bee dreams

Swarm of bees in your dream

If you’re being chased by a swarm of bees in your dream, it could indicate some unfinished business. If they are not chasing you, however, that indicates that everything is going well.

Bee swarm in the farm.
Bee swarm on the farm. (© Eran Finkle | Creative Commons)

Many bee species are quite social. So if you have an upcoming wedding, gala or any other type of large gathering, your bee swarm dream could be connected to that.

Bees land but do not sting

This is a sign of unconditional love. Either with someone already in your life or someone you will soon meet.

Bee on a finger
Bee on a human finger. (© Brian Valentine | Creative Commons)

It also takes a lot of confidence to allow a bee to land on you without being worried it will sting you. This could be a sign of confidence and high self-respect.

Killing bees

If you’re exterminating bees, it could suggest that you’re about to face a misfortune that will come with a difficult recovery. Something unhealthy needs to be addressed as soon as possible. It could also mean that something or someone you hold dear is in immediate danger—a loved one with a terminal illness, or on the brink of a job loss.

Bees also nurture, so this dream might also suggest that you’re destroying something you should actually be nurturing.

Bees in your hair or in your house

Some say this kind of bee symbolism suggests a terminal disease or death. This could be your own, or of someone living in the house. However, I believe it suggests other misfortunes or dangers, such as your house being in disrepair or an upcoming eviction. It could also suggest that something is slipping out from under you and is wrecking your life as a result.

The old expression about a “bee in your bonnet” could also apply here. That refers to someone who is worked up about a particular subject. A bee in your hair could suggest that you are worked up about a particular peeve.

Things you might see in a bee dream

Empty beehive

The beehive is the bees’ home and property. An empty one could suggest a lost piece of property, an upcoming eviction, or an adult child about to move out.

Thriving beehive

A full and thriving hive indicates abundance and success. By that, we mean anything from good fortune at work to a healthy home.

beehive
A thriving hive. You love to see it! (© Luca Terzaroli | Creative Commons)

Bees in religion and spirituality

If you’re religious or spiritual, bees have a lot of meanings there, too.

Christianity

Catholics in particular connect pollinating bees to the Immaculate Conception and Mother Mary. Thanks to bees, plants can reproduce without sexual contact, which was significant to early Catholics. As a result, Catholic churches often use pure beeswax candles.

Beeswax candle
Beeswax candles, pictured here in a retail shop, are a common sight in Catholic churches. (© sri_the_quack | Creative Commons)

If you’re involved in religious work, the spreading of pollen could refer to the spreading of the Gospel. A beehive could represent work for the common good. A sting could be connected to the pain of the crucifixion, or the nails through Jesus’s hands.

Islam

A passage in the Koran (16:68) says Allah directs bees to make honey and populate in places that are easily accessible to humans. The next verse (16:69) refers to honey’s healing properties—which have been confirmed by science. Honey helps prevent various diseases, acts as an antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory. It can also help treat wounds.

Bees can also represent the godly discipline and order in hard work. Islam teaches that dreaming about bees could be an allusion to the resulting prosperity.

However, since bees attack and call for backup when they feel threatened, a swarm can allude to a danger of war or disease.

Judaism

In Judaism, bees represent the follow-the-leader system. Worker bees follow the queen in everything they do. This is akin to loyalty to God. Pollinating represents honest work for God, as bees do it for the greater benefit and never for their own gain.

Bees on flower
A bee pollinates plants so they can reproduce. (© Matthew Miller | Creative Commons)

During Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, dipping apple slices in honey represents hope for a sweet new start.

Hinduism

Bees have many meanings in Hinduism. For example, Krishna is often depicted with a bee on his forehead to represent wisdom. Vishnu, the preserver, is often depicted as a bee on a lotus flower to represent nurture.

The ancient Vedas and Upanishads discuss pollination and honey as representative of the natural interconnectedness. Bees act out of instinct, without thought to the benefits of their pollination or their honey.

Since bees have so many meanings and do so much, bees in a dream can mean many things. Just consider what bees mean to you. When you dream about bees, it could be either positive or negative depending on the details of the dream and what has been happening in your life.

We like to believe that bees are mostly positive, because they are far more beneficial than harmful. They help to keep us and the environment healthy. They’re one of the rare species that provides nutrients, medicine and fertilization all in one.

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