The Buzz on Bees

Of all the symbols Susan Shaw has used on intaglios, the bee was one of the first and remains one of the most popular. Why? There are many symbolic reasons that people like wearing bees, and we’ve heard them all. Some say the bee just makes them happy, which makes us happy too! Others cite historical significance to the bee, and we have found the history to be quite extensive! Many cultures have different interpretations and uses for the symbol, so we’re highlighting some of them below, and showcasing some our most popular bee designs. So you can enjoy the photos, the history, and perhaps we can help you answer the question: why do you wear the bee intaglio?


The bee can signify royalty and power. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the bee was created out of the Tears of the sun god Ra and they adopted the bee as a symbol of their rulers. Honey bees, signifying immortality and resurrection, were emblems of early French kings, the Merovingians, that were later revived by Napoleon.  With all it’s royal significance, perhaps you like to wear the bee because you’re a Queen Bee.

The flag of the Second French Empire, the reign of Napoleon

The bee was a hugely important icon of Napoleon’s reign and his obsession with its symbolism gave rise to his nickname, the Bee. Before that, bees were a vital symbol of French industry and one of the most prominent emblems of the French Revolution. Some call it the precursor to the Fleur-de-Lis (the current national emblem of France). To this day, the bee can be found in French design, decor, and even business logos. Perhaps you like to wear the bee because you have an eye for French culture and design. 


Historically, communities of honeybees have been cited as similar to communities of humans. Some famous defenders of this theory include Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare and even Tolstoy makes this connection in his novel War and Peace. Bees work together harmoniously, each having their place in the betterment of the hive. Perhaps you like to wear the bee because you like to live in peace & harmony with others.IMG_3946For some, the bee is a symbol of nature, as they can be found buzzing about and helping pollinate many flowers and fruit bearing trees.  Perhaps you like to wear the bee because you love and appreciate nature and all its beauty.

In Greek mythology, as well as other historical cultures, the bee is a symbol of fertility. A Queen bee is typically the mother of all the bees in her hive. Perhaps you like to wear the bee because you have a mothering nature.img_5644

The bee is known for its hard work. Worker bees are constantly building, cleaning, and taking care of the hive as well as collecting and depositing pollen. Hence, the term “busy as a bee” is very fitting. Perhaps you like to wear the bee because you’re a hard worker and a busy bee! 

Tell us why you wear (or decorate with) the bee. We’d love to know!


Susan Shaw Jewelry

P.S. Find many of our bee styles online here!

One thought on “The Buzz on Bees

  1. I love the bee for two reasons. My father used to refer to me as his queen bee. Our Braniff ex flight attendant organization is called the Clipped B’s.
    I love your jewelry!

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