Bee Quotes And Proverbs

Bees are amazing! 

No wonder writers and philosophers have been inspired and moved to wax lyrical about bees!

Bees have much to teach us, they fascinate us, they are beautiful, and their importance to mankind is beyond measure.

Bees (honey bees in particular) are the most studied creature by humans after mankind.

The bee is associated with the production of food for humans (via pollination, but also honey), healing, and perhaps more than any other creature - if not the only creature, held up as setting a selfless example to mankind on organised society.

Here is a selection of bee quotes and proverbs from various sources, about lessons for life, the bees themselves, gardening, their value as pollinators, conservation issues and beekeeping quotes.

Bee quotes about....

…. Their Lessons For Humanity

The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
- William Blake

Life is the flower of which 
love is the honey 
– Victor Hugo 

That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot
be good
for the

- Marcus Aurelius

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
- Proverbs 16:24

And we should always remember that, in matters of evolution, nature will select for the ability to adapt and survive, not for maximum convenience to mankind.
– Phil Chandler, The Barefoot Beekeeper

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 Church-Providence

For where’s the State    beneath the Firmament
That doth excel the Bees for Government?
– Guillaume de Saluste du Bartas

He will be eating curds and
honey when he knows
enough to reject the
wrong and choose
the right

- Isaiah 7:15

Those bees, which chose thy sweet mouth for their hive, to gather honey from thy works, survive

– Thomas Pecke, Parnassi Puerperium, 1659.

When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey.
– Arab proverb

Bee Quotes about.....

Wonderful And Amazing Bees...............!

"..even the insects in my path are not loafers, but have their special errands".
– Henry David Thoreau, 1906

“A work of arte; and yet no arte of man,
Can worke, this worke, these little creatures can”
– Geffrey Whitney, 1586.

“There is one masterpiece, the hexagonal cell, that touches perfection. 

No living creature, not even man, has achieved, in the centre of his sphere, what the bee has achieved in her own: and were some one from another world to descend and ask of the earth the most perfect creation of the logic of life, we should needs have to offer the humble comb of honey.”
- Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life Of The Bee, 1924

Bee Quotes……About the Inestimable Value Of Pollinators

"Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem - because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it."

- Pavan Sukhdev, United Nations report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

“Human beings have fabricated the illusion that in the 21st century they have the technological prowess to be independent of nature. Bees underline the reality that we are more, not less, dependent on nature’s services in a world of close to 7 billion people”

- Achim Steiner, Executive Director UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

“The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century……The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 per cent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.”
- Achim Steiner, Executive Director UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Bee Quotes.....About Bees In The Garden And Countryside

“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, Dandelion Wine

"Stop using chemicals in your garden.

In the US more chemical tonnage is used on lawns and golf courses than on crops.

Even people with apartments routinely use pesticides on their window boxes, killing every butterfly that visits."

–Mark Daniels, Director The Strange Disappearance Of The Bees


“The botanist should make interest with the bees if he would know when the flowers open and when they close”

- Henry David Thoreau, 1906


“Where possible, and within reason, adopt a more tolerant attitude to feral bee colonies in buildings, and of hived bee colonies in one's neighbourhood. If we want bees we need to make space for them.”
– Dr David Heaf, The Bee-friendly Beekeeper

Bee quotes about......

Bees And Pesticides

“When bees die through pesticide poisoning, it should ring alarm bells throughout the agricultural system that we ignore at our peril”.
– Phil Chandler, The Barefoot Beekeeper.

Is it realistic to believe the notion that insecticides kill 'nasty insects', whilst conveniently leaving alone the 'nice' insects, like bees, butterflies and ladybugs?

Beekeeping Quotes

A swarm of bees in May
is worth a load Of hay,
But a swarm in July
is not worth a fly.

 - J. Ray – English Provers 1670

“A careful beekeeper will not take more than the colony can afford to miss.  Putting the bees in danger for a few frames of honey after a cold, wet summer is counter-productive.”
Paul Peacock- author of Keeping Bees - A Complete Practical Guide


“We consider it as self evident that if the bees store honey for their own use, then honey is what they want and need.  Sugar syrup is, at best, a poor substitute.  Therefore, we strive to leave enough honey in the hive for the bees’ winter feed”.
Phil Chandler, "The Barefoot Beekeeper"

“It seems clear to me that bees have a powerful need to build comb.  It is part of their natural life-cycle and a part of their biochemical make-up to extrude wax and work it, and I strongly believe that they need the freedom to build it their way.”
- Phil Chandler, "The Barefoot Beekeeper"

“The current pre-occupation with drone culling as part of so called ‘integrated pest management’ cannot but affect the quality of queens, as many of the most important traits – including temperament – are passed down the drone line, according to the late Brother ~Adam and others.  It wouldn’t surprise me  if the many stories of poor quality queens I have heard and read about recently were caused by a local shortage of good drones”.
- Phil Chandler, "The Barefoot Beekeeper"

Neonicotinoid Pesticides:

The Risk To Bees


(On Varroa mite) “Continued treatment with chemicals to which mites can develop immunity is counter-productive, as we are simply breeding tougher mites by default”.

- Phil Chandler, "The Barefoot Beekeeper"

Go from Bee Quotes to poems about bees.

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