Bee Quotes and Popular Sayings

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Bees are the subject of many complimentary comments and sayings. Why do we love bee quotes? Maybe it is because of the bees’ diligent work ethic. Humans have always had a special affection for honey bees. From the proverbs of the bible to beautiful poetry and the riddles of childhood, bee sayings and phrases become a part of our everyday lives.

Honey bee worker with flower image.

Whether they are about honey bees in particular or just bees in general- Bee quotes almost always depict our insect friends in a positive light! And why not, they have many admirable qualities.

Honey Bee Quotes

You will find many references to bees in the Bible – these date back centuries. Yet, even after thousands of years, there are some some bee facts we have yet to learn.

Phrases, Quotes and Captions about the World of Bees

In this list of fun quotes about bees, I hope you will find some that you have never heard before. There are sure to be some that you will want to share.

  • The bee is domesticated but not tamed – William Longgood
  • Word are like bees – some create honey and others leave a sting-Unknown
  • The lovely flowers embarrass me, They make me regret I am not a bee – Emily Dickinson
  • The hum of bees is the voice of the garden – Elizabeth Lawrence
  • It was the bumble bee and the butterfly who survived, not the dinosaur – Meridel Le Sueur
  • If you have no honey in your pot, have some in your mouth. –Benjamin Franklin
  • Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.
    John Muir
  • The bee’s life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water
    Karl Von Frisch
  • Words are like bees – some create honey – others leave a sting –unknown
  • Surely, everyone knows the great furry bumblebee, that gentle giant of the blossoms, that somehow awkward, slow, bumbling bear of a bee. – Brian L. Griffin
  • Every saint has a bee in his halo – Elbert Hubbard
  • The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own -Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Bees work for man, and yet they never bruise Their Master’s flower, but leave it having done, As fair as ever and as fit to use; So both the flower doth stay and honey run -George Herbert
  • The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man, it is to know that and to wonder at it. -Jacques Yves Cousteau

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

Isaac Watts
  • A bee is never as busy as it seems; it’s just that it can’t buzz any slower. –Kin Hubbard
  • When the flower blossoms, the bee will come. –Srikumar Rao
  • If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive. –Abraham Lincoln
  • Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind. – Nietzsche
  • A bee is never as busy as it seems; it’s just that it can’t buzz any slower. –Kin Hubbard
Industrious bees working in the garden.

Shakespeare Bee Quotes

  • For so work the honey bees, creatures that by a rule in nature, teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom – William Shakespeare
  • He is not worthy of the honey-comb
    That shuns the hives because the bees have stings.
    -William Shakespeare
  • The sweetest honey
    Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
    And in the taste confounds the appetite.
    -William Shakespeare

Therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavor in continual motion;
To which is fixed as an aim or butt
Obedience; for so work the honeybees,
Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king, and officers of sorts,
Where some like magistrates correct at home,
Others like merchants venture trade abroad,
Others like soldiers armed in their stings
Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds,
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor,
Who, busied in his majesties, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold,
The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
The sad-eyed justice with his surly hum
Delivering o’er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone.

– William Shakespeare
Infographic list of some of the most popular bee quotes with citations.

Busy Worker Bee Quotes

In general, being lazy is not considered a desirable state. With no care for worldly problems our bees and other pollinators toil away.

Thank goodness they do because insect pollination adds greatly to our lifestyle! Many popular sayings about honey bees applauds their work ethic!

Inspirational bee saying about busy honey bees. The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
  • Man produces evil as a bee produces honey. -William Golding
  • Honey doesn’t lose its sweetness because it is made by bees that sting.
    ― Matshona Dhliwayo
  • Bees – by virtue of a certain geometrical forethought, knew that the hexagon is greater than the square and the triangle and will hold more honey for the same expenditure of material.
    ― Pappus
  • If bees only gathered nectar from perfect flowers, they wouldn’t be able to make even a single drop of honey.
    ― Matshona Dhliwayo
  • When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee’s house some day. -Congo Proverb
  • It is not how busy you are, but why you are busy — the bee is praised, the mosquito is swatted.
    -Author Unknown
  • The busy bee has no time for sorrow – William Blake
  • We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne. -Marcus Aurelius
  • Bees do have a smell, you know,
    and if they don’t they should,
    for their feet are dusted with spices
    from a million flowers.
    -Ray Bradbury
  • The bee is more honored than other animals,
    not because she labors,
    but because she labors for others.
    -St. John Chrysostom
Infographic about meaning of the phrase queen bee with images of real queens in the hive.

Queen Bee Sayings

The one member of the hive that no colony can do without – the honey bee queen. She is well known as the single most important individual in the hive. Of course, we celebrate her. Here are some of the most popular quotes about the queen bee.

  • Just as the queen bee, the highest-ranking, peerless creature of her hive, is surrounded by lowly drones to please her, whereas the workers produce honey, the same way is the one who sits on the throne an equal only to himself, and no one’s companion. – Franz Grillparzer
  • If it were worth while to argue a paradox, one might maintain that nature regards the female as the essential, the male as the superfluity of her world. Perhaps the best starting-point for study of the Virgin would be a practical acquaintance with bees, and especially with queen bees. – Henry Adams
  • To be successful, one has to be one of three bees – the queen bee, the hardest working bee, or the bee that does not fit in.”- Suzy Kassem
Bee on flower with common quote about queen bees and hard work.

Quotes About Beekeeping

Who better to appreciate quotes about bees than the beekeepers themselves? Beekeeping is hard work but it delivers a sweet reward.

Not just honey, but also the peace and tranquility that comes from watching a honey bee colony grow and thrive.

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These famous bee sayings are from people who were on close personal terms with bees. It makes me proud to help others who want to pursue beekeeping.

  • Nothing gives a person more confidence…
    than to be zipped snugly inside a bee suit.
    -Sue Hubbell
  • That which is not good for the bee-hive
    cannot be good for the bees.
    -Marcus Aurelius
  • Listen to the bees and let them guide you.
    -Brother Adam
  • The bee’s life is like a magic well:
    the more you draw from it,
    the more it fills with water
    – Karl Von Frisch
  • Where there are bees there are flowers, and wherever there are flowers there is new life and hope.
    ― Christy Lefteri
  • One swallow will not make spring, nor one bee honey. -Proverb
  • Place a beehive on my grave
    And let the honey soak through.
    When I’m dead and gone,
    That’s what I want from you.
    The streets of heaven are gold and sunny,
    But I’ll stick with my plot and a pot of honey.
    Place a beehive on my grave
    And let the honey soak through.”
    – Sue Monk KiddThe Secret Life of Bees
  • swarm of bees in May is worth a load Of hay, but a swarm in July is not worth a fly – unknown
You are the bees knees 1920s quote with honey bee image.

A Silly Bee Quote to Share

No list would be complete without this endearing bee phrase “You are the bee’s knees”. We have all heard this phrase used to describe something in a positive manner. Who was the first one to use it? We don’t know who created the phrase but it first appeared in the 1920’s.

The variety of bee quotes and sayings used in everyday language reflect a commonality between humans and bees. In some regions, we even follow the ritual of “telling the bees” when a death occurs.

Honey bees are revered in many works of mythology. Some ancient civilizations even had a god of bees that they would appeal to for help.

The admirable qualities of hard working bees are looked for in the human race. We admire bees so much that we often give bee-themed gifts to loved ones and friends. This is surely a sign of respect of some degree.


What are some of the most popular quotes about bees?

There are many sayings shared that refer to honey bees. But, some of the most popular include: “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” – Albert Einstein and “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” – Henry David Thoreau

What do quotes about bees symbolize?

Honey bee quotes often symbolize their dedication to hard work, their commitment to family and community and their importance to our lives.

Why are bee quotes important?

The sharing of words that show bees in a positive light, helps promote public awareness of the importance of all pollinators.

A Final Word

Though there is no proof – Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying “If the bee disappears from the surface of the globe, man would have no more than four years of life to live.”

Of course, this is not true as most of the world crop plants are not pollinated by bees. But, our world would certainly change without them.

Hopefully, we may someday become as diligent and resourceful as the honey bee. Or at least, take a few more steps in that direction. Now see if you can find some bee quotes to use today!

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